The product of the postformalin ammoniacal silver reaction, which has been claimed to distinguish lysine-rich from arginine-rich histones with the light microscope on the basis of a color difference, was examined in developing erythroid cells of chick bone marrow with the electron microscope. Stem cells and early erythroblasts exhibit no, or little, ammoniacal silver reaction product, while small basophilic erythroblasts, polychromatophilic erythrocytes, and reticulocytes exhibit an increasing amount of reaction product as maturation proceeds. The reaction product is in the form of discrete electron-opaque particles associated with heterochromatin. The ammoniacal silver reaction in the erythroid cell series is interpreted as reflecting either the accumulation of newly synthesized arginine-rich histones or changes in the availability of reactive sites in preformed histones.

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