AAT Bioquest

What is the importance of DNA packaging?

Posted January 23, 2023


DNA packaging is important because DNA is a very long molecule, approximately 2-3 meters long when unwound. In order to ensure the DNA fits into the nucleus of a cell, it is vital for it to be packaged properly into the chromatin. The DNA is reduced to 11 nm during the first stage of packing, in which nucleosomes are packaged in a specific order. DNA packaging also aids the separation of the correct chromosome during cell division. Because of the nature of highly packed DNA, it is easy for genes to be turned on or off. DNA packaging is also important because sometimes only a certain section of DNA needs to be packaged for a given period. Euchromatin is a loosely packed area in the genome that is necessary for protein production. This makes it simple for DNA to enter and create RNA. Heterochromatin has tightly packed DNA that is infrequently needed. So, DNA packaging can be used interchangeably depending on the specific period it is being used in. Lastly, in bacterial cells the DNA is circular or linear. Thus, to fit the size of a bacterial cell, supercoiled DNA is folded into loops that resemble histones.

Additional resources

Chromosomal DNA and Its Packaging in the Chromatin Fiber

DNA and RNA Quantitation

6-ROX glycine *25 uM fluorescence reference solution for PCR reactions*

Helixyte™ Green *10,000X Aqueous PCR Solution*