Polytene chromosomes of good cytological quality from pseudonurse cells (PNCs) of fs(2)B and otu11 mutants were obtained, photomaps for otu11 mutants were constructed and the general characteristics of polytene chromosomes from salivary glands (SGs) and PNCs were compared. Three conditions were found to improve the cytological quality of PNC chromosomes: temperature below 18 degrees C, a protein-rich medium and presence of the Y-chromosome. Detailed comparison of the chromosome banding pattern from SGs and PNCs has shown only minor differences between them. The frequency of asynapsis appeared to be 10 times higher for PNC chromosomes. Despite previous reports, features such as breaks and ectopic contacts turned out to be also typical for PNC chromosomes, but with remarkably lower frequencies.