Scanning Microscopy


Canine chromosomes are not only numerous (38 autosomal pairs), but they are small (compared to human chromosomes) and morphologically similar as well. Analysis of the canine karyotype by light microscopy (LM) of banded chromosomes is, thus, difficult, and the literature on the canine karyotype is scanty. In this study, we describe examination of chromosomes from normal and chronically irradiated dogs with the scanning elect ran microscope (SEM). Metaphase chromosomes from bone marrow aspirates were Giemsa-banded with either 0.025% trypsin alone or 0.1% trypsin preceded by 10% H2O2 and prepared for SEM. Examination of chromosomes from normal dogs revealed cylindrical chromosome profiles with well-defined chromatids and centromeres. The chromosome arms were consistently marked by periodic grooves that had complementary structures on sister chromatids and may represent the trypsin-sensitive chromatic regions. The quality of the preservation varied from preparation to preparation and depended on the concentration and time of trypsin treatment. Chromosomes from irradiated dogs revealed translocations, deletions, and gaps. We conclude that SEM produces images superior to LM images of canine chromosomes; SEM images can be used not only to identify individual chromosomes, but also to identify genetic lesions in the chromosomes of chronically irradiated dogs. We further conclude that the two Giemsa-banding protocols used in the present study produced variable results, although 0.025% trypsin alone appeared to give better and more consistent results than 0.1% trypsin preceded by 10% H2O2.

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