Article

Chromosome Research

, Volume 9, Issue 7, pp 569-584

First online:

Arrangements of macro- and microchromosomes in chicken cells

  • Felix A. HabermannAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)
  • , Marion CremerAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)
  • , Joachim WalterAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)
  • , Gregor KrethAffiliated withKirchhoff-Institute of Physics, University of Heidelberg
  • , Johann von HaseAffiliated withKirchhoff-Institute of Physics, University of Heidelberg
  • , Karin BauerAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)
  • , Johannes WienbergAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)
  • , Christoph CremerAffiliated withKirchhoff-Institute of Physics, University of Heidelberg
  • , Thomas CremerAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)
    • , Irina SoloveiAffiliated withInstitute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich (LMU)

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Arrangements of chromosome territories in nuclei of chicken fibroblasts and neurons were analysed employing multicolour chromosome painting, laser confocal scanning microscopy and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. The chicken karyotype consists of 9 pairs of macrochromosomes and 30 pairs of microchromosomes. Although the latter represent only 23% of the chicken genome they contain almost 50% of its genes. We show that territories of microchromosomes in fibroblasts and neurons were clustered within the centre of the nucleus, while territories of the macrochromosomes were preferentially located towards the nuclear periphery. In contrast to these highly consistent radial arrangements, the relative arrangements of macrochromosome territories with respect to each other (side-by-side arrangements) were variable. A stringent radial arrangement of macro- and microchromosomes was found in mitotic cells. Replication labelling studies revealed a pattern of DNA replication similar to mammalian cell nuclei: gene dense, early replicating chromatin mostly represented by microchromosomes, was located within the nuclear interior, surrounded by a rim of late replicating chromatin. These results support the evolutionary conservation of several features of higher-order chromatin organization between mammals and birds despite the differences in their karyotypes.

chicken interphase nuclei chromosome arrangement 3D M-FISH nuclear architecture