The nuclear changes accompanying spermatid elongation have been studied in two species of grasshopper, Dissosteira carolina and Melanoplus femur-rubrum. Testes were fixed in 1 per cent buffered OsO4, imbedded in butyl methacrylate, and examined as thin sections in the electron microscope.
In both species nuclear changes during spermatid development involve (1) an early period, during which the nuclear contents are predominately fibrous; (2) a middle period, characterized by the lateral association of the nuclear fibers to form plates or lamellae which are oriented longitudinally in the major axis of the elongated nucleus; and (3) a late period, involving coalescence of the lamellae into a crystalline body which eventually becomes so dense that all resolvable detail is lost.
The fibers seen in the early spermatid nucleus are about 150 A in diameter and so are similar to fibers described from other types of nuclei. The thickness of the lamellae varies from about 150 A when first formed to 70 A during the later stages. The lack of evident chromosomal boundaries in the spermatid nucleus makes it difficult to relate either the fibers or lamellae to more familiar aspects of chromosome structure. We see no apparent reason to consider that the fiber alignment described here is related to conventional chromosome pairing.