The indium trichloride method of Watson and Aldridge (38) for staining nucleic acids for electron microscopy was employed to study the relationship of DNA to the structure of the synaptinemal complex in meiotic prophase chromosomes of the domestic rooster. The selectivity of the method was demonstrated in untreated and DNase-digested testis material by comparing the distribution of indium staining in the electron microscope to Feulgen staining and ultraviolet absorption in thicker sections seen with the light microscope. Following staining by indium, DNA was found mainly in the microfibril component of the synaptinemal complex. When DNA was known to have been removed from aldehyde-fixed material by digestion with DNase, indium stainability was also lost. However, staining of the digested material with non-selective heavy metal techniques demonstrated the presence of material other than DNA in the microfibrils and showed that little alteration in appearance of the chromosome resulted from DNA removal. The two dense lateral axial elements of the synaptinemal complex, but not the central one to any extent, also contained DNA, together with non-DNA material.

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