The ultrastructure of telophase to interphase has been followed in a green alga, Spirogyra submargaritata. A series of changes transitional between the late anaphase chromatid, the decondensing chromatid of telophase, and the ‘pale fibrillar material’ occupying channels in the nucleolus at interphase have been demonstrated. Early stages in the regeneration of the nucleolus are described. It has been shown that the pale fibrillar material in the nucleolus is attached to, and continuous with, the fully condensed (chromocentric) part of the nucleolar-organizing chromosome at interphase. It is also shown that in early prophase, the channels in the nucleolonema of the nucleolus are no longer occupied by pale fibrillar material, but instead a long section of condensed chromosome is present, traversing the nucleolonema. It is contended that these observations taken together constitute evidence that the pale fibrillar material of the nucleolus is the chromatin of the nucleolar-organizing region of the chromosome, expanded for transcription. A model of the nucleolus as it is seen in most electron-microscope sections, and as it can be interpreted in the light of present-day knowledge about it, is presented. A brief review of the relevant literature considers the views supporting the mode, and the contrary views, implicating the use of the term ‘nucleolar organizer’, that are still current at the present time.

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