Sixty normal male Caucasians were selected to study the length of the Y chromosome. QFQ banding was performed. Chromosomes 19 and 20 (F) and Y were measured directly from the film. Y/F, f/F, and nf/F indices (f = fluorescent; nf = non-fluorescent segment) were determined. The length of the Y chromosome was classified into 5 groups; very small, small, average, large, and very large with Y/F indices of less than 0.8, 0.81--0.94, 0.95--1.09, 1.1--1.23, and greater than 1.23, respectively. The frequencies of Y/F indices for these groups were 0 (0%), 9 (15.0%), 40 (66.7%), 8 (13.3%), and 3 (5.0%), respectively. The most frequent class was 0.95--1.09 and was defined as the 'average' Y/F index for the human Y chromosome. The variation in the total length of the Y chromosome was accounted for by variations in the length of the non-fluorescent as well as the fluorescent segments. No relation between f and nf segments was observed. The mean Y/F, f/F, and nf/F indices were 1.022, 0.441, and 0.574, respectively.
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