Recombination nodules in the oocytes of the chicken, Gallus domesticus

Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1986;43(3-4):187-93. doi: 10.1159/000132319.


Chicken oocytes at pachytene were processed with the microspreading technique (Moses, 1977), and their synaptonemal complex (SC) complements were analyzed by electron microscopy. Ellipsoidal nodules, 140 X 120 nm in diameter, were associated with the central space of synaptonemal complexes. The average number of nodules per pachytene oocyte was 57.5. The number of nodules per bivalent showed a clear linear relationship with SC length, except for the microchromosomes, which showed a single obligatory nodule. The distribution of nodules along the 10 longest SCs was nonrandom, with low frequencies in the vicinity of kinetochores and high frequencies near the telomeres. The microchromosomes showed a single nodule whose average location was 1.21 micron from the kinetochore. In the ZW pair there was a single nodule whose average location was 0.31 micron from the paired telomeres and not more than 0.65 micron from them. The total number of nodules per cell and the number of nodules in each of the five major bivalents showed good agreement with the total number of chiasmata and the number of chiasmata of the major bivalents of roosters. Thus, these nodules share the characteristics of recombination nodules described in other organisms. The single, obligatory, strictly localized recombination nodule found in the pairing end of the ZW pair strongly suggests that recombination between the Z and W chromosomes in the female chicken is a regular process that may be similar to the obligatory recombination between the pairing ends of the human X and Y chromosomes that was recently described in studies using DNA probes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Meiosis*
  • Oocytes / ultrastructure*
  • Recombination, Genetic*