We report elastic measurements of individual chromosomes observed in vitro. Free fluctuations of shapes show that a chromosome can be seen as a copolymer, exhibiting rigid regions alternating with semi-flexible regions. We characterize this behavior and compare it with known biopolymers. We further show that the inner part of a chromosome exhibits viscoelasticity, as extracted by the loading rate dependence of the stretch modulus. Taken together, these data suggest an organization for the chromosome as a copolymer composed of an inner rigid core exhibiting viscoelasticity surrounded by an elastic soft envelope.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)