The frequency and distribution of the mismatch repair protein MLH1 was analyzed on synaptonemal complex spreads of chicken oocytes using indirect immunofluorescence. MLH1 foci appeared in late zygotene and their number remains constant throughout pachytene. The average number of foci on autosomal synaptonemal complexes (65.02 +/- 4.02) is in agreement with the number of chiasmata estimated from lampbrush chromosomes. The distribution of foci along the synaptonemal complexes is shown to be nonrandom and nonuniform in terms of the distances between them. It is concluded that MLH1 foci are good markers of crossing over in bird (chicken) meiocytes.
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