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Chromosoma. 1979 Feb 21;71(2):197-216.

Pattern of activity of nucleolus organizers during spermatogenesis in mammals as analyzed by silver-staining.


Silver-staining in the nuclei and chromosomes of spermatogenesis of four species of mammals (Man, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, and Cavia cobaya) was investigated qualitatively and quantitatively. These species show a very similar pattern of activity of the nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) during the various stages of spermatogenesis. Silver precipitates are detectable in growing spermatogonia and up until the pachytene stage of meiotic prophase. During the meiotic metaphases I and II and during interkinesis silver-stainability disappears completely. A resumpton of silver-stainability occurs in round spermatids indicating a postmeiotic reactivation of NORs. This process does not persist beyond the early elongation phase. The quantitative determination of the silver-covered areas in relation to the total nuclear areas reveals minor differences between the species investigated with regard to the times and extents of maximum activation. The known localizations of the NORs in the karyotypes of the species investigated was confirmed using metaphase-preparations derived from somatic tissues.

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