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Keywords:

  • Marek's disease virus;
  • atomic force microscopy;
  • cytogenetics;
  • chromosomes;
  • chicken;
  • topographic banding

Abstract

The Marek's disease virus (MDV) integration may induce a novel organization of chromatin architecture with a modified genetic expression. In our opinion it is worthwhile trying to relate cytogenetic stability to functional modifications. Recently, atomic force microscopy technique was applied to study the structure of chromosomes at a nanoscale level. This high resolution allows to investigate the different structure of chromatin in order to study cytogenetic stability and chromosome aberrations due to MDV insertion. In this paper data are presented indicating a duplication [78,WZ,dup(1p)(p22–p23)] and a deletion [78,WZ cht del(3)(q2.10)] of Chromosomes 1 and 3 relatively. Relationships between GTG (G-bands by Trypsin using Giemsa) bands and the topography of chromosomes are also discussed, naming them Topographic Banding. The architecture of chromosomes observed by AFM can be related to the data obtained with classic banding techniques thus overcoming the optical resolution limits. The presence of chromatin bridges between sister chromatids at most of the heterochromatic regions is also evidenced. Besides, we present different studies of the longitudinal and transversal symmetry of the hetero and euchromatic regions to clearly demonstrate a different underlying architecture of these regions. It is indeed evident that the heterochromatic bands are more symmetrical than euchromatic bands. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.