Chromosome Preparation and Banding


Reliable techniques have been developed to produce large numbers of mitotic cells and to collect them at metaphase in order to visualize individual chromosomes. After cell culture and spreading of the metaphases onto slides, the chromosomes are stained to produce unique banding patterns or to reveal specialized structures. Molecular techniques have been developed to identify submicroscopic rearrangements and to compare karyotypes of different species.

Keywords: chromosome banding; chromosome spreading; fluorescence in situ hybridization; high resolution banding; metaphase spreads; sister chromatid exchange

Figure 1.

G‐Banding (a) Normal human male metaphase spread showing 46 human chromosomes. G‐Bands were produced by treatment with trypsin followed by staining with Giemsa. (b) The same metaphase arranged in standard karyotype format.

Figure 2.

Molecular cytogenetic probes. (a) Normal human metaphase spread showing hybridization of the centromeric region of chromosomes 7 (green) and 8 (red) using α‐satellite probes. Chromosomes counterstained in blue using DAPI. (b) Human male metaphase spread with deletion of the elastin (ELN) locus at the Williams syndrome critical region near the centromere on one homologue of chromosome 7. Cosmid probe for the ELN locus and a control probe are visible on the normal homologue (right); however, only the control probe can be seen on the deleted homologue (left). (c) Normal human metaphase spread with whole‐chromosome paint probe for chromosome pair number 15 in red. (d) Cross‐species colour banding (RX‐FISH®) on normal human male chromosomes arranged in standard karyotype format.


Further Reading

Barch MJ, Knutsen T and Spurbeck JL (eds) (1997) The AGT Cytogenetics Laboratory Manual, 3rd edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott‐Raven.

Rooney DE and Czepulkowski BH (eds) (1992) Human Cytogenetics: A Practical Approach, vol. I, Constitutional Analysis, 2nd edn. Oxford: IRL Press.

Rooney DE and Czepulkowski BH (eds) (1994) Human Cytogenetics. Essential Data. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Sandberg A (1990) The Chromosomes in Human Cancer and Leukemia, 2nd edn. New York: Elsevier.

Therman E and Susman M (1993) Human Chromosomes: Structure, Behavior, and Effects, 3rd edn. New York: Springer‐Verlag.

Verma RS and Babu A (1995) Human Chromosomes: Principles and Techniques, 2nd edn. New York: McGraw‐Hill.

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Moore, Charleen M, and Best, Robert G(Apr 2001) Chromosome Preparation and Banding. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001444]