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The occurrence of period IV elements in dinoflagellate chromatin: an X-ray microanalytical study

The occurrence of period IV elements in dinoflagellate chromatin: an X-ray microanalytical study

Journal of Cell Science 46: 113-127

X-ray microanalysis of unfixed frozen-dried cryosections, and of unfixed cryosections collected by a sucrose drop technique, revealed the presence of Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn (Period IV, Periodic Table) in association with the permanently condensed chromosomes of Prorocentrum micans. All of these metals, with the exception of Mn, routinely occurred in the chromatin of cells that had been fixed in glutaraldehyde, ethanol-dehydrated, and resin-embedded. Their detection at high levels in chemically dehydrated chromatin of Prorocentrum micans, and 3 other dinoflagellate species cultured in the laboratory, suggests they are important as bound (insoluble) components of the chromatin. Detailed analysis of the fixed, ethanol-dehydrated material showed that for these particular cultures, each species had its own characteristic mass fraction pattern of chromatin-bound elements which differed markedly from that of the other species. Calculation of relative numbers of atoms from the mass fraction showed that for each species about 40-50 atoms of bound Period IV elements were present per 100 atoms of phosphorus. This is approximately equivalent to one Period IV atom per 2 DNA nucleotides or per base pair. Although considerable variation exists between species in terms of individual element levels, the total number of atoms of Period IV elements relative to phosphorus is remarkably constant.

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Accession: 021962396

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PMID: 7194876

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