Most of the techniques described in this chapter (blotting, cloning, PCR, etc.) are dependent on hybridization (annealing) between different populations of nucleic acids. Length of the strands, temperature, and percentage of GC nucleotides weigh considerably on hybridization. Two other components commonly used in hybridization protocols are monovalent ions and formamide. A formula that takes monovalent Na⁺ ions ((M[Na⁺]) and formamide concentrations into consideration to compute a Tₘ (temperature of melting) is as follows:
Given that formamide competes for hydrogen bond locations on nucleic acid bases and monovalent cations are attracted to the negative charges on nucleic acids, explain why the Tₘ varies as described in part (a).
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