Patterns of NOR activity in 640 metaphase spreads from twelve monozygotic (MZ) and eight dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs were studied to evaluate the heritability of this chromosomal heteromorphism. NORs were stained by a modification of the Ag-AS technique and counterstained with quinacrine mustard dihydrochloride to facilitate chromosome identification and assess their value in zygosity determination. In this study, all karyotypes were read blind with respect to zygosity and pair membership.
A discriminant function analysis of pair score differences in MZ and DZ twins revealed that, in our sample, the probability of accurately determining zygosity with NOR scores was 0.93 and with QFQ scores was 0.99. We conclude that NOR and QFQ scores are highly heritable and of great value in zygosity determination.
Data were collected from 687 metaphase spreads on the frequency with which an acrocentric chromosome was found in a satellite association. A significant correlation was found between this frequency and the degree of Ag-AS stain of the NOR. This study, therefore, confirms previous results showing that a high degree of NOR activity is found in those chromosomes most often involved in satellite associations.