G11 Banding Giemsa at pH

This technique specifically stains the pericentromeric regions of all chromosomes, the heterochro-matin regions of chromosomes 1, 9, and 16 and the distal Yq, and the satellites of the acrocentric chromosomes. An alkaline treatment of the chromosomes causes loss of the Giemsa binding sites. Optimal results are achieved at pH 11.6. At this high alkaline pH, only the azure component of Giemsa binds with the majority of the chromosomes, staining them light blue. The eosin component of Giemsa binds specifically to the heteromorphic regions cited above, staining them magenta. G-11 banding is used to delineate these heterochromatin polymorphisms.

G-11 banding also has research applications. It is used to differentiate between human and rodent chromosomes in hybrid cells. The human chromosomes stain pale blue, whereas the rodent chromosomes stain magenta.

Telomeric Staining Cytogenetics
Fig. 5. C-Banding. This technique stains the constitutive heterochromatin found in each chromosome (hence the term C-banding) and is useful for clarification of polymorphisms. Note the large heterochromatic regions in some of the chromosomes. (Image provided by Alma Ganezer.)

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