A Technique for the Preparation of Somatic Chromosomes of Maize
The staining and counting of the somatic chromosomes of Zea mays constitute a valuable technique for studies in maize genetics. The Feulgen staining technique has been successful in cytological studies of a wide range of somatic plant chromosomes. The Feulgen technique is a nucleal-type reaction and was originally developed by Feulgen and Rossenbeck as a microchemical test (1924). The technique was later refined by DeTomasi (1936), Heitz (1936), Margolena (1932) and Whitaker (1939). Numerous early botanists/cytogeneticists (a few of whom are cited below), in a refinement of the technique, demonstrated that the mitotic inhibitor (colchicine) could be applied as a pretreatment to shorten plant chromosomes and thus allow superior visualization of the somatic chromosomes prior to staining (Burrell 1939; Nichols 1941; O’Mara 1939). Minor modifications in the pretreatment step have allowed further improvements in the resolution of the somatic chromosomes (Sallee 1981, 1982; Kindiger 1983).
KeywordsSomatic Chromosome Hydrolysis Time Basic Fuchsin Maize Genetic Superior Visualization
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