SCANNING VOL. 24, 55–58 (2002)
Received: May 5, 2001
Accepted with revision: September 10, 2001
© FAMS, Inc.

Human Chromatid Ultrastructure: New Observations with Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy

Edmund C. Jenkins, G.Y. Wen, Edmund C. Jenkins, Jr., Marilyn Genovese, W. Ted Brown

Departments of Cytogenetics, Human Genetics, and Pathological Neurobiology, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York, USA

Full-text (for Scanning subscribers)

Summary: Two new observations have been made on human chromatid/chromosome ultrastructure using both scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM). A bipartite, apparently half-chromatid-like structure was observed in whole human chromosomes studied with SEM and in longitudinally sectioned chromosomes analyzed with TEM. In addition, we also observed a zipper-like configuration as the parallel sister chromatids separated likely due to the supercoiled structure of the chromosome and chromatid. It is possible that either or both of these new observations resulted from our (improved) method of preparing the chromosomes for SEM and TEM.

Key words: scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, half-chromatid, coiling, chromatid separation

PACS: 61.16.Bg, 87.64.Dz

This study was funded in part by the Foundation for Advances in Medicine and Science (FAMS, Inc.), and in part by a grant from the Aluminum Association and the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Address for reprints:
Edmund C. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Department of Cytogenetics
New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities
1050 Forest Hill Road
Staten Island, NY 10314, USA
e-mail: ecjenkins@erols.com