Grasshoppers of the species Melanoplus differentialis were injected with tritium-labelled thymidine. At intervals thereafter autoradiographic stripping film was applied over Feulgen squashes and sections. In this species during early prophase of meiosis the sex chromosome forms a heterochromatic block large enough to be resolved in tritium autoradiographs. A study of the squash preparations reveals that the sex chromosome is synthesizing DNA at a different period of time from the euchromatic autosomes. Since there is a developmental sequence of spermatocyte cysts along the testicular tubes it is possible from the sections to show that the heterochromatin synthesizes DNA later than does the euchromatin. To find out whether the results obtained in Melanoplus were characteristic of heterochromatin in general, young seedlings of rye were grown in a tritiated thymidine solution and Feulgen squashes were made as for Melanoplus. In rye leaf nuclei there is a large block of heterochromatin constituted by the proximal regions of the chromosomes and a euchromatic one formed by the median and distal regions of the same chromosomes. Here also the heterochromatin synthesizes DNA at a different period of time from the euchromatin. It is concluded that in rye the asynchrony of synthesis occurs within each chromosome. Counts of silver grains over the two types of chromatin in nuclei of Melanoplus and Secale disclosed that the number of grains per unit area was two to three times higher over the heterochromatin. To check the DNA content, Feulgen photometric measurements were made of Melanoplus nuclei at the same stage. The Feulgen and grain counts agree in showing that the heterochromatin contains two to three times more DNA per unit area than the euchromatin.

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