Squashing salivary glands of Chironomus thummi larvae, Amblystoma tigrinum erythrocytes, or Spirostromum frequently results in stretched chromatin having highly oriented DNA as determined by polarized fluorescence microscopy of acridine orange-stained preparations. The examination of such material from C. thummi in the electron microscope indicates that the individual chromatin fibers have an average thickness of 80 A as is usually found in embedded and sectioned material. It is thus concluded that the DNA lies nearly parallel to the axis of these chromatin fibers. Detailed calculations of the polarization expected from various models of DNA packing are contained in an appendix.

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