, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 236-250

The lampbrush chromosomes of Xenopus laevis: preparation, identification, and distribution of 5S DNA sequences

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Abstract

Details are given of a technique for making permanent preparations of the lampbrush chromosomes of Xenopus laevis. Stained preparations allow all 18 bivalent chromosomes to be identified, and a working map showing the major features has been constructed. Fifteen of the Xenopus chromosomes have one telomere conspicuously larger than the other; the two smallest chromosomes, and one other, lack large telomeres. Similar preparations, extracted with RNase and denatured, have been hybridized in situ with a 3H-labelled 5S cRNA probe. Chromosomes can be identified in the resulting autoradiographs. 5S DNA sequences are present at all the larger telomeres and at three of the smaller ones, but are absent from the telomeres at both ends of the two smallest chromosomes. There are also five interstitial sites of hybridization. At one of these, label is on the chromosome axis; at the other four, label extends well away from the axis.