Polytene chromosomes of Chironomus thummi were treated with antisera elicited by purified calf thymus histone fractions, and the location of each histone type was visualized by the indirect immunofluorescence technique. Each of the antisera produced specific and distinct patterns of fluorescence, suggesting that it is possible to use the indirect immunofluorescence technique to study the in situ organization of each histone in the various regions of the chromosomes. H1 and H2A antisera produced diffuse fluorescence patterns in acetic acid-fixed chromosomes which become more defined in formaldehyde-fixed preparations. Antisera to H2B, H3 and H4, when reacted with either formaldehyde- or acetic acid-fixed chromosomes, produce distinct banding patterns closely resembling the banding of acetoorcein-stained or phase-contrast-differentiated chromosomal preparations. These antisera produce corresponding patterns of fluorescence for each chromosome, suggesting that the overall organization of the histones is similar in the various bands. Because the dense band regions stain more brightly with antihistone sera than the less compacted interband areas, we believe that the number of antigenic sites of chromosome-bound histones is related to the amount of DNA present, and that the accessibility of histone determinants does not differ between the bands and interbands.

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