Indexed on: 01 Dec '95Published on: 01 Dec '95Published in: Chromosoma
During early embryogenesis of the nematode Parascaris univalens (2n=2) the processes of chromatin diminution and segregation of the germ and somatic cell lineages take place simultaneously. In this study we analyzed the nucleolar cycle in early embryos, both in germinal and somatic blastomeres, by means of silver staining and antibodies against the nucleolar protein fibrillarin. We observed an identical nucleolar cycle in both types of blastomeres, hence, the chromatin diminution process has no effect on the nucleolar cycle of somatic blastomeres. We report the existence of outstanding differences between this cycle and those previously reported during early embryogenesis of other species. There is a true nucleolar cycle in early embryos that shows a peculiar nucleolar disorganization at prophase, and a preferential localization of prenucleolar bodies only on the euchromatic regions during nucleologenesis. Moreover, fibrillarin does not form a perichromosomal sheath in metaphase or anaphase holocentric chromosomes, probably owing to their special centromeric organization. The number and location of nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) in the chromosomal complement have been determined using silver impregnation, chromomycin A3/distamycin A staining, and fluorescent in situ hybridization using an rDNA probe. There are only two NORs, one per chromosome, and these are lost in blastomeres after chromatin diminution. Moreover, the constant presence of two nucleoli in somatic blastomeres suggests that NORs are not affected during the fragmentation of euchromatic regions when this process occurs.