, Volume 86, Issue 5, pp 683–702 | Cite as

Scanning electron microscopy of giemsa-stained chromosomes and surface-spread chromosomes

  • Kazuhiko R. Utsumi


Giemsa-stained chromosomes as prepared for light microscopy, and including G-banded, C-banded, and FPG-stained chromosomes, were examined by scanning electron microscopy. Although suitable for light microscopy, these chromosomes were too flat for a close examination of their fine structure by scanning electron microscopy. The surface of Giemsa-positive regions was rough and bright, whereas that of unstained or poorly stained regions was smoother and less bright. Giemsa-staining, therefore, seems to produce the bulkiness of the chromosomes. On topographical examination by scanning electron microscopy, the transparent chromosomes as observed with the light microscope proved to be “footprints”. Stereographical examinations of surface-spread chromosomes showed that minimally stretched chromosomes were composed of a mass of nodular and twisted looping fibers with an average diameter of about 300 Å. The substructure of these chromosome fibers was not determined. The kinetochore region was discernible as a constriction in the mass of the chromosome fibers, and was distinguishable from gaps by the presence of several chromosome fibers parallel to the axis of the chromatid. The organization of the chromosome fibers, however, was disordered rather than regular.


Electron Microscopy Scanning Electron Microscopy Light Microscopy Developmental Biology Fine Structure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiko R. Utsumi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cell BiologyAichi Cancer Center, Research InstituteNagoyaJapan

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