The central region of the synaptonemal complex in Blaps cribrosa studied by electron microscope tomography

Chromosoma. 1993 Dec;102(10):669-81. doi: 10.1007/BF00650893.


The synaptonemal complex (SC) in the beetle Blaps cribrosa contains a highly organized central element (CE), two flanking lateral elements (LEs), and a number of regularly spaced transverse filaments (TFs) crossing the central region. The CE is built like a ladder with two longitudinal components running in parallel and a number of regularly spaced transverse CE components, bridging the two longitudinal components. The CE is multi-layered with the ladders of the individual layers more or less in register. Essentially every TF originates in one of the LEs, crosses the CE through a transverse CE component and reaches the opposite LE; every transverse CE component in a given layer corresponds to one, and only one, TF. In a CE layer, short irregular pillars form the junctions between the transverse and longitudinal CE components. Adjacent pillars are connected to each other by fine fibrous bridges: the two pillars in the same transverse CE component are linked, and so are the pillars along each longitudinal component, and also more occasionally adjacent pillars in separate CE layers. It is proposed that a TF with the two associated short pillars represents the structural unit in the central region. The ordered structure of the CE is accomplished by linking adjacent pillars to each other into the well-defined three-dimensional organization of the CE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coleoptera / ultrastructure*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Metaphase
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Synaptonemal Complex*