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Keywords:

  • Chromosome;
  • Chromonema;
  • Scaffold;
  • Chromatin photostabilization

Abstract

A method was developed for stabilizing mitotic chromosomes. Light irradiation of permeabilized cells in a low concentration of ethidium bromide made chromatin resistant to high salt concentrations and decondensing buffer. This resistance was abolished by proteinase treatment, but not by DNase or RNase treatment. In photostabilized and extracted chromosomes, chromatin appeared as thick fibers with discrete high electron density regions. These stabilized structures might correspond to the higher-level structures (chromonemata) observed in native chromatin. Moreover, the electron density was higher in the centromeric regions than the chromosome arm material. Thus, the method allows chromatin substructures (chromonemata and centromeric heterochromatin) to be stabilized inside mitotic chromosomes.