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Ribosomal Gene Localization and Distribution (Arrangement) within the Nucleolar Organizer Region of ZEA MAYS

  • Samuel A. Ramirez
  • John H. Sinclair
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1975
  • Medicine


Cytogenetic and molecular hybridization techniques were used to examine the arrangement of rRNA genes at the nucleolar organizer region (NOR) of maize. TB-6a stocks involving a reciprocal translocation between a B chromosome and the NOR of chromosome 6 were used. The amount of rDNA in the different stocks used varied from 1.5 to 4 NOR equivalents depending on the number of B6 choromosomes present. Cytological measurements show that the medial break through the NOR results in an equal partitioning of the heterochromatic knob (the NOR) between chromosome 6 and the B chromosome to which it was translocated. DNA-rRNA hybridization experiments show a linear relationship between the amount of rRNA capable of hybridizing with DNA and the number of NOR equivalents present. The data confirm McClintock's conclusion that the heterochromatic knob, rather than the constricted portion, is the true NOR region. Further, they show that the number of ribosomal genes is correlated with the amount of cytologically visible NOR, suggesting a uniform distribution of genes throughout the locus.

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