Radioactive iodinated silk fibroin messenger RNA and ribosomal RNA have been used as probes to localize their genes in tissue sections of Bombyx mori by in situ hybridization. From filter hybridization experiments it is inferred that the majority of the grains produced by in situ hybridization with fibroin mRNA represents specific hybridization to fibroin genes. Sections of the posterior silk gland where silk is synthesized have been compared with those of the middle gland which does not synthesize fibroin. Glands have been analyzed from the second through the fifth (last) larval instar during feeding and moulting periods. During later stages when the gland cells increase their DNA content by polyploidization, serial sections were required to follow the distribution of grains through entire nuclei. At all stages, both ribosomal DNA and fibroin genes are distributed randomly throughout the nuclei without a preferred relationship to any nuclear structure. © 1976.
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