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Chromosoma. 1981;84(3):391-403.

Cytological dissection of sex chromosome heterochromatin of Drosophila hydei.


Prophase chromosomes of Drosophila hydei were stained with 0.5 microgram/ml Hoechst 33258 and examined under a fluorescence microscope. While autosomal and X chromosome heterochromatin are homogeneously fluorescent, the entirely heterochromatic Y chromosome exhibits an extremely fine longitudinal differentiation, being subdivided into 18 different regions defined by the degree of fluorescence and the presence of constrictions. Thus high resolution Hoechst banding of prophase chromosomes provides a tool comparable to polytene chromosomes for the cytogenetic analysis of the Y chromosome of D. hydei. - D. hydei heterochromatin was further characterized by Hoechst staining of chromosomes exposed to 5-bromodeoxyuridine for one round of DNA replication. After this treatment the pericentromeric autosomal heterochromatin, the X heterochromatin and the Y chromosome exhibit numerous regions of lateral asymmetry. Moreover, while the heterochromatic short arms of the major autosomes show simple lateral asymmetry, the X and the Y heterochromatin exhibit complex patterns of contralateral asymmetry. These observations, coupled with the data on the molecular content of D. hydei heterochromatin, give some insight into the chromosomal organization of highly and moderately repetitive heterochromatic DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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