Banding Techniques


A large number of chromosome banding techniques have been developed, giving each chromosome a unique banding pattern which may be used to identify chromosome abnormalities. In addition, other selective staining techniques may be used to study specific chromosome regions.

Keywords: chromosome staining; chromosome banding; fragile site; sister chromatid exchange

Figure 1.

Q‐banded metaphase. Note the brightly stained Y chromosome.

Figure 2.

G‐banded metaphase.

Figure 3.

C‐banded metaphase.



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Further Reading

Haaf T, Dominguez‐Steglich M and Schmid M (1990) Immunocytogenetics. VI. A nonhistone antigen is cell type‐specifically associated with constitutive heterochromatin and reveals condensation centers in metaphase chromosomes. Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics 54: 121–126.

Korenberg JR and Freedlender EF (1974) Giemsa technique for the detection of sister chromatid exchanges. Chromosoma 48: 355–360.

Rooney DE (ed.) (2001) Human Cytogenetics: Constitutional Analysis – A Practical Approach, 3rd edn. Oxford, UK: IRL at Oxford University Press.

Salamanca F and Armendares S (1974) C bands in human metaphase chromosomes treated by barium hydroxide. Annales de Genetique 17: 135–136.

Seabright M (1971) A rapid banding technique for human chromosomes. The Lancet 2: 971–972.

Verma RS and Lubs HA (1975) A simple R banding technique. American Journal of Human Genetics 27: 110–117.

Wegner RD (ed.) (1999) Diagnostic Cytogenetics Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

Yunis JJ (1981) Mid‐prophase human chromosomes: the attainment of 2000 bands. Human Genetics 56: 293–298.

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How to Cite close
Blennow, Elisabeth(Jan 2006) Banding Techniques. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005777]