, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 25–36 | Cite as

Distribution of 18+28S ribosomal genes in mammalian genomes

  • T. C. Hsu
  • Sonia E. Spirito
  • Mary Lou Pardue


In situ hybridization with 3H 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA from Xenopus laevis has been used to study the distribution of DNA sequences coding for these RNAs (the nucleolus organizing regions) in the genomes of six mammals. Several patterns of distribution have been found: 1) A single major site (rat kangaroo, Seba's fruit bat), 2) Two major sites (Indian muntjac), 3) Multiple sites in centromeric heterochromatin (field vole), 4) Multiple sites in heterochromatic short arms (Peromyscus eremicus), 5) Multiple sites in telomeric regions (Chinese hamster). — The chromosomal sites which bind 3H 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA correspond closely to the sites of secondary constrictions where these are known. However, the correlation is not absolute. Some secondary constrictions do not appear to bind 3H ribosomal RNA. Some regions which bind ribosomal RNA do not appear as secondary constrictions in metaphase chromosomes. — Although the nucleolus organizing regions of most mammalian karyotypes are found on the autosomes, the X chromosomes in Carollia perspicillata and C. castanea carry large clusters of sequences complementary to ribosomal RNA. In situ hybridization shows that the Y chromosome in C. castanea also has a large nucleolus organizing region.


Multiple Site Xenopus Laevis Metaphase Chromosome Major Site Telomeric Region 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. C. Hsu
    • 1
  • Sonia E. Spirito
    • 2
  • Mary Lou Pardue
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyThe University of Texas System Cancer Center M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor InstituteHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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