The synaptonemal complexes of caenorhabditis elegans: comparison of wild-type and mutant strains and pachytene karyotype analysis of wild-type

Chromosoma. 1982;84(4):585-97. doi: 10.1007/BF00292857.


Normal synaptonemal complexes (SCs), consisting of two lateral elements and a central element, are present in wild-type, him-4 and him-8 mutant strains in both hermaphrodites and males of caenorhabditis elegans. Thus, the increase in rate of nondisjunction in the him mutants is not related to aberrant SC morphology. The wild-type hermaphrodite has six SCs, as determined from 3-D reconstruction analysis of serial section from electron microscopy. Thus, n=6 and this confirms early reports based on cytological studies with the light microscope. Only one end of the SC is attached to the nuclear envelope while the other end is free in the nucleoplasm and there is no apparent bouquet formation. Either end of the SC can attach to the nuclear envelope. The pairing behavior of the XX bivalent is normal and occurs synchronously with the autosomes. Electron dense bodies, or knobs, are associated with the SC via the central element and displace the chromatin for a distance of 200 nm. Each pachytene nucleus of the wild-type hermaphrodite has six such structures that are randomly dispersed along the bivalents such that some SCs have one or two knobs while others have none. Their function is unknown.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure*
  • Male
  • Meiosis*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Mutation
  • Nondisjunction, Genetic*