Human Genetics

Patterns of association in the human metaphase complement: Ring analysis and estimation of associativity of specific chromosome regions

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The pattern of metaphase chromosome association in the human complement was studied by two methods of statistical analysis of interchromosomal distances. Those methods included ring analysis in which a characteristic position of the centromere of each chromosome relative to the center of a two-dimensional representation of a metaphase complement was defined, and estimation of the capacity for associativity of each of three regions of each chromosome: the centromere (c) and the ends of each arm (p,q). The following information was obtained: 1. In general, the distance from the center is directly related to chromosome size. 2. The most notable deviation from that size-related progression is displayed by the X chromosomes. The markedly peripheral position of the X is characteristic of both X's of the female and the single X of the male. 3. The relative associativity of each chromosome of the complement is, in general, inversely related to size with an additional preferential capacity of associativity displayed by the acrocentric chromosomes. Analyses of the different inter-regional classes established that the supplementary associativity factor of the acrocentric chromosomes was inherent in their pericentromeric and p-arm regions and excluded the ends of the q arms from participation in that factor. 4. Those analyses demonstrated that the specific morphology or 'geometry' of the acrocentric chromosomes contributes little to their high relative associativity. In addition to the tendency for the c/p regions of the acrocentric chromosomes to associate with each other, presumably because of their common function in nucleolar organization, those regions also displayed a propensity to associate with the distal regions of the arms of other chromosomes. A molecular basis for that propensity other than that of ribosomal DNA is postulated to be that of other fractions of highly reiterated DNA sequences. 5. Analysis of the relative associativities of each of the three regions of the Y chromosome revealed that the Yq displays a much stronger capacity to associate with the c's of other chromosomes than does the Yc or Yp. © 1978 Springer-Verlag.


01 Jan 1978


Human Genetics