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The feasibility of using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to identify the position of specific DNA sequences was examined using a Y chromosome 'specific' probe (pHY2.1). Tests were carried out on chromosome spreads hybridized in situ with biotinylated pHY2.1. Chromosomal sites of hybridization of the probe were localized by an indirect immunohistochemical procedure which resulted in a gold product which could be amplified by silver precipitation. In the SEM, the specific location of the probe was easily identified due to the enhanced signal produced by the gold-silver complex. The probe was localized both on the long arm of the Y chromosome and within interphase nuclei. It was found that SEM was more sensitive than light microscopy since the probe could be identified without silver amplification. With refinements to the technique, SEM could provide a useful method for high resolution localizing of unique DNA sequences (i.e. single copy genes).


Journal article


Histochem J

Publication Date





266 - 270


Biotin, Chromosome Mapping, DNA, Histocytochemistry, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Lymphocytes, Male, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Y Chromosome