In maturing oocytes of the newt Triturus viridescens, the nucleoli undergo a series of morphological changes that are very similar to those described by Callan for the axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum. The nucleoli first assume the form of spheroids which then become extended into ring or necklace shapes that are DNase-sensitive; in mature oocytes the nucleoli revert to a spheroidal form. Short term in vitro incorporation studies with uridine-3H on both species show that RNA synthesis occurs in a restricted, eccentric portion of the spheroidal nucleoli, thereby producing an asymmetrical pattern of labeling. In the ring forms, however, the localization of the radioactivity suggests that synthesis takes place symmetrically throughout their entire length. The changes in nucleolar morphology apparently reflect the fact that the component DNA has undergone a redistribution from a localized region in the spheroidal nucleoli to an extended circle in the rings; the patterns of uridine-3H incorporation, therefore, parallel the distribution of DNA in both the spheroidal and the ring nucleoli. Ultrastructurally, the nucleoli contain a fibrillar component that corresponds in position to that of the DNA. The typical spheroidal nucleolus consists of a fibrillar core situated eccentrically and surrounded by a hull of granular, ribonucleoprotein material. The ring nucleoli are composed of a central fibrous region that is ensheathed all around its circumference by a layer of similar granular material. This granular substance is thicker at intervals along the length of the rings, representing the "beads" of the necklaces.

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