Human chromosome polymorphisms were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Centromeric heterochromatin was of a constricted morphology. The extent of the C banded region was demarcated by a prominent circumferential groove in G banded chromosomes. Circumferential grooves were observed within the heterochromatin of chromosome 9, and the number of grooves present reflected the size of the region. Three dimensional viewing of satellites and short arms of acrocentric chromosomes, from different angles in the SEM, provided the opportunity for accurate assessment of the size of satellites to be made. Also, small morphological variations were defined in the SEM when definition was uncertain in the light microscope (LM).
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