An Atomic Force Microscopical Study of the Synaptonemal Complex

Constant A.J. Putman, Axel J.J. Dietrich, Bart G. de Grooth, Jan van Marle, Christa Heyting, Niek F. van Hulst, Jan Greve

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The chromosomal structure which is specific for meiosis, the synaptonemal complex (SC), plays a major role in chromosome pairing and the recombination of genetic material. The SC was studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The results of this study confirm the results of light and electron microscopic studies of the SC. The SC primarily shows a tripartite structure, composed of two lateral elements and a central element connected to each other by transversal elements. The lateral element of the SC shows a lateral subdivision in secondary lateral strands. In addition, a new repetitive transversal subdivision of the lateral elements was observed. Furthermore, the SC substructure which is probably responsible for recombination, the recombination nodule, could be observed ouside the confines of the SC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-277
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Synaptonemal complex (SC)
  • Lateral element
  • Transversal element
  • Central element
  • Recombination nodule


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