A method is described for bursting single, selected mitotic cells on a fluid surface. Cells from cultures of newt heart tissue were burst on dilute solutions containing potassium and sodium with and without added calcium and also on dilute calcium chloride solution. The material was negatively stained with uranyl acetate or sometimes with ammonium molybdate or sodium phosphotungstate. The bodies of chromatids spread on NaCl/KCl solutions showed many parallel fibers about 150 A in diameter. Loops with a complex nodular structure were observed projecting from the sides and ends of chromatids. In calcium-containing solutions there was evidence of fiber coagulation; the chromatid body was more compact and laterally projecting fibers tended to be pulled out straight. Especially in the absence of calcium the chromosomal fibers had a nodular form and appeared to be composed of irregularly folded fibrillar elements. The question as to whether chromosomal fibers, which range in diameter from about 50 to 300 A, consist of single, folded threads or of two or more adjacent subunits is discussed.

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