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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Electron spectroscopic imaging and X-ray microanalysis of phosphorus in mouse sperm chromatin.

The influence of HCl hydrolysis on DNA detection in a Feulgen-type reaction using osmium ammine has been analyzed at the electron microscopic level by means of electron spectroscopic imaging, electron energy loss spectroscopy and X-ray microanalysis in energy dispersive spectroscopy. Both the stained DNA and the phosphorus mapping for a given hydrolysis condition were studied in parallel on the same nucleus. We have found that the pattern of osmium ammine-stained DNA and phosphorus imaging can be superimposed for a short hydrolysis time. After long HCl treatment, DNA is barely detectable by osmium ammine while phosphorus is still present in the thin sections. Taking into account the fact that the cells are embedded in a plastic resin, it is reasonable to think that in this case DNA depolymerization does not completely correspond to DNA loss. An incomplete loss of this highly denatured and depolymerized DNA from the plastic sections will explain both the presence of phosphorus and the poor stainability with a Schiff-type reagent.[1]


  1. Electron spectroscopic imaging and X-ray microanalysis of phosphorus in mouse sperm chromatin. Rouelle-Rossier, V.B., Biggiogera, M. European journal of histochemistry : EJH. (1992) [Pubmed]
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