Reaction of Nucleic Acid to Aceto-carmine


THE non-stainability of many plant and animal chromosomes toward the Feulgen reagent1 after prolonged hydrolysis with N hydrochloric acid at 60° C. has recently also been demonstrated in the salivary gland chromosomes of Chirunomus2. Since the Feulgen reaction and aceto-carmine staining are both used for the demonstration of nucleic acid within the chromosome, it would be of interest to know whether acid hydrolysis will also cause the chromosomes to behave negatively toward the aceto-cannine dye. From the experiments thus conducted it was found that in the early period of hydrolysis (generally after 3–5 min.) the salivary gland chromosomes stained with aceto-carmine more distinctly than those unhydrolysed controls, due probably to the removal of other stainable components surrounding the chromosomes. This strong stainability was not changed within fifteen minutes of hydrolysis. Now, if the duration of hydrolysis exceeded this upper limit, a weaker staining capacity of these chromosomes toward the aceto-carmine dye would result ; and finally they might reach a stage practically unstainable if hydrolysis was allowed to continue for 25–30 minutes. This means that the staining reaction of salivary gland chromosomes toward the aceto-carmine dye after hydrochloric acid hydrolysis was entirely parallel to that toward Feulgen reagent.

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  1. 1

    Bauer, H., Z. Zellforsch. mikros. Anat., 15, 225 (1932). Hillary, B. B., Bol. Gaz., 101, 276 (1939).

  2. 2

    Chu, J., and Pai, S., Nature, 155, 482 (1945).

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CHU, J. Reaction of Nucleic Acid to Aceto-carmine. Nature 157, 513–514 (1946) doi:10.1038/157513b0

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