We have used endonuclease treatment in situ, followed by Giemsa or ethidium bromide staining, for mapping repetitive sequences on the chromosomes of the flesh fly Sarcophaga bullata and thus for studying extrachromosomal DNA granules in this species. All three restriction enzymes employed (HaeIII, A1uI and HindIII) show the same cytological effects, except for a single interstitial band. In both polytene and mitotic chromosomes, chromatin resistant to these endonucleases presumably includes at least three endonucleases presumably includes at least three previously unrecognized buoyant density satellites (1.663, 1.670 and 1.692 g ml-1 in neutral CsCl), and is predominantly localized in the pericentric regions of all five autosomes. Mitotic treated chromosomes show that the entire rod-shaped X chromosome, but no part of the dot-like Y chromosome, consists of endonuclease-resistant chromatin. The most unusual heterochromatic component of polytene nuclei in this species, the ‘extrachromosomal DNA granules’, are also entirely resistant to digestion with endonucleases. We think that these DNA granules represent dispersed X chromatin and not, as previously assumed, extruded autosomal heterochromatin.

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