Chromosome structure and pairing behaviour of the pachytene bivalents in the wildtype and in W chromosome mutants were studied using a microcentrifugation technique. The spread bivalents display a characteristic lampbrush structure with lateral loops having the typical appearance of nucleosomal fibers, in autosomes as well as in the W and Z chromosomes. While the autosomal loops are always completely dispersed by the spreading forces, the loops of the heterochromatic W chromosome frequently are found to be condensed in tangles. These tangles contain supranucleosomal globular particles of a diameter of 37.7±1.2 nm. - Pairing of the WZ can be complete or partial, probably depending on the stage of the pachytene. Incomplete pairing normally is interpreted as demonstrating non-homology. Pairing was weak, however, even between homologous segments of the W chromosome, which were introduced into the genome in homozygous form by a translocation chromosome.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)