A method for preparing replicas of salivary gland chromosomes for electron microscopy is described.
Electron micrographs of these replicas show that the giant chromosomes are composed of a series of small granules of approximately equal size arranged transversely across the chromosome.
In stretched preparations a linear network of filaments appears between the rows of granules. These fibers cannot be traced between corresponding granules of more than two consecutive rows. When the chromosomes are digested by desoxyribonuclease, these fibers disappear and only amorphous material remains between the bands. The characteristics of the strands suggest that they are artifacts produced when the chromosomes are stretched.
The small granules are composed of desoxyribonucleic acid and at least one other component, probably a protein. The nucleic acid seems to lie at least in part on the surface of each granule.