Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Darwin A Buthala

Second Advisor

Dr. George G. Mallinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Leonard C. Ginsberg


The present study was designed to develop a technique to prepare human chromosomes for sequential light and electron microscopic observation and to compare detectability of chromosome aberrations induced by adriamycin and mitomycin C by the two procedures. The technique developed preserved the morphological and structural organization of chromosome while allowing observation of the cell's entire chromosome complement. It was rapid and reproducible and chromosomes could be treated and stained for banding.

Light microscopic data showed that in cultures of human lymphocytes both drugs induce chromosome aberrations. In comparison with controls both drugs produced significantly more chromosome and chromatid fragments. Electron microscopy revealed greater numbers of chromosome aberrations in both drug groups at higher levels of statistical significance.

The differences between chromosome and chromatid fragments observed at the light and electron microscope levels were statistically significant. However, with mitomycin C, only the number of chromatid fragments scored at electron microscope was significantly greater than at light microscope. In mitomycin C and control groups chromosome fragments failed to show significant differences between electron and light microscopy. However, the number of chromosome fragments scored was small. It is also possible that length measurement accuracy is not increased at the greater resolution level.

The present study showed the advantage of high resolution in detecting minute chromosomal aberrations. Should a reproducible banding technique applicable to electron microscopy be developed, the use of high resolution in cytogenetics could be greatly extended. The technique developed could also be used for studying the ultrastructural organization of chromosome and/or chromosomal fibers.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access