Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 132, Issue 1–2, pp 27–51 | Cite as

Analysis of nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) in mitotic and polytene chromosomes ofPhaseolus coccineus by silver staining and Giemsa C-banding

  • Dieter Schweizer
  • Peter Ambros


Chromosomes with active nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) were visualized in root tip metaphases ofPhaseolus coccineus using the silver staining technique. A mean number of 5.5 Ag-NORs per cell was observed in 54 cells from eight plants. In the endopolyploid nuclei of the suspensor the silver technique did not demonstrate the reported specificity for nucleolus organizer activity, because there was usually pale staining of nucleoli and preferential staining of heterochromatic regions in the polytene chromosomes including pericentromeric material, telomeres and NORs. The mean number of NORs per nucleolus as detected by this method was 5.8 (28 nucleoli analysed). Using a modified preparation technique, giant chromosomes stained pale, but nucleoli of suspensor cells displayed darkly silver staining internal domains, each of which originating from a nucleolus organizer.—Giemsa C-banding of endopolyploid suspensor nuclei revealed C-positive nucleolus organizers with darkly staining intranucleolar fibrils. The latter were frequently involved in inter-NOR associations. In 34 nucleoli analysed, the mean number of Giemsa C-positive NORs per nucleolus was 6.0.

Key words

Fabaceae Phaseolus coccineus Silver staining Giemsa C-banding nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) heterochromatin polytene chromosomes suspensor cells 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Schweizer
    • 1
  • Peter Ambros
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für BotanikUniversität WienWienAustria

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