Thymidine-H3 of high specific activity was used to study the distribution of labeled chromatids during meiotic divisions in spermatocytes of a species of grasshopper (Orthoptera). The distribution is regularly semiconservative as has been shown previously for mitosis, i.e., all chromatids are labeled after incorporation of thymidine-H3 into DNA at premeiotic interphase. If incorporation occurs at the interphase preceding this one, the chromosomes arrive at meiotic divisions with the equivalent of one chromatid of each homologue labeled. Chromatid exchanges occur at a frequency which is very nearly that predicted on the assumption that each chiasma represents an exchange between homologous chromatids. However, the exchanges are randomly distributed among chromosomes in a size group, whereas chiasmata are not. A quantitative analysis of the frequency and pattern of exchanges indicates that most of these result from breakage and reciprocal exchange between homologous chromatids. Sister chromatid exchanges are much less frequent and may be limited to premeiotic stages.

This content is only available as a PDF.