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Assaying chromosome arrangement in embryonic interphase nuclei of Drosophila melanogaster by radiation induced interchanges

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 April 2009

Arthur J. Hilliker
Affiliation:
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
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Despite recent advances in our understanding of chromatin ultrastructure, little is known of the arrangement of chromosomes during interphase, the portion of the cell cycle associated with somatic gene transcription. An experimental procedure is described which has allowed the determination of the nature of the relative arrangement during interphase of chromosomes in a specific diploid cell type of Drosophila, the salivary gland anlage of the 10–14-h-old embryo. At this stage of development the salivary gland cells have ceased mitotic divisions. Embryos of 10–14 h in age were irradiated with 12000 rads of gamma radiation and then allowed to develop into third instar larvae. The polytene chromosomes of these larvae were examined for radiation-induced interchanges. From the distribution of observed interchanges, three major features of interphase chromosome arrangement were inferred. (1) Each euchromatic chromosomal arm occupies a specific domain within the interphase nucleus which does not appreciably overlap with those of other arms. (2) Within these chromosomal domains DNA folding is very extensive. (3) The heterochromatic regions of each chromosomal arm are sequestered from the euchromatic regions. An additional point of interest concerns the nature of the interchanges observed. No reciprocal interchanges were observed – all appeared to be partial exchanges, possibly subchromatid interchanges involving only one DNA strand from each of the two exchange sites.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1986

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Assaying chromosome arrangement in embryonic interphase nuclei of Drosophila melanogaster by radiation induced interchanges
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