The mechanism of autosomal synapsis and the substaging of zygonema and pachynema from deer mouse spermatocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Surface-spread and silver-stained spermatocytes of Peromyscus maniculatus and P. sitkensis were analyzed in order to develop criteria for the recognition of meiotic substages from early zygonema through early diplonema. The continuous sequence of changes in the morphology of the autosomal axes (lateral elements) of the synaptonemal complexes (SC), sex chromosome axes, and nucleoli enabled the recognition of three substages of zygonema and five of pachynema. The proposed system of subdivision is compatible with descriptions of comparable data from Chinese hamsters and laboratory mice with differences being primarily associated with the timing of sex chromosome synapsis and desynapsis. Within the substages, cytogenetically important details of the synaptic mechanism in deer mice were noted. Autosomal synaptic initiation in deer mice is apparently uniterminal, involving the distal (noncentromeric) end of the homologs. Subsequent pairing is unidirectional towards the centromeric end. Additionally, during mid and late zygonema the homologous axes of late pairing regions of some autosomes were characterized by substantial length differences. These lateral element length differences were not maintained into pachynema and it is hypothesized that differences in the amount of material in the heterochromatic short arms of these species may be subject to synaptic adjustment.

published proceedings

  • Chromosoma

author list (cited authors)

  • Greenbaum, I. F., Hale, D. W., & Fuxa, K. P.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Greenbaum, IF||Hale, DW||Fuxa, KP

publication date

  • January 1986