Chromosome segments of urodele cells lose some substance after irradiation with about 10-1 ergs/µ2 of heterochromatic ultraviolet light. These segments stain faintly or negatively with the Feulgen and pyronine-methyl-green methods and weakly with the Alfert-Gesch-wind stain for basic protein. In the living cells, Perry found in these chromosome segments a decrease of 50 to 60 per cent in absorption at 2400, 2600, and 2800 A, i.e., in the region of intense chromosomal absorption that is maximal at 2600 A. Apparently the material lost contains DNA (?DNP) and we call the process DNA-steresis. In such cells, fixed in neutral formalin in Tyrode's solution and stained with phosphotungstic acid, electron microscopy shows that the unirradiated parts of the chromosomes consist of (a) a homogeneous or finely fibrillar material (component-A) filling the meshes of (b) an irregular network with bars 40 to 300 A in diameter, some of which continue into a similar interchromosomal network. DNA-steretic portions of the chromosomes consist mainly of this network and only small amounts of component-A, which presumably contains the DNA. We have not been able to demonstrate DNA-steresis with the electron microscope after primary fixation with OsO4 or KMnO4. Structural changes due to DNA-steresis are compared with certain nuclear changes in the mitotic cycle.

This content is only available as a PDF.