Synizesis (biology)

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Synizesis refers to a phenomenon sometimes observed in one of the subphases of meiosis. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as a 'synizetic knot', and contrasted with the chromosome 'bouquet' more typically observed, is characterized by the localization of the meiotic chromosomes in a tight clump on one side of the nucleus. The term synizesis seems to have been coined by McClung in 1905 [1].

The synizetic knot (Synizesis) was later found to be a technical artifact induced by the feature of strong acidic fixatives used during that time (e.g., Flemming's strong fixative) to precipitate the thread-like delicate chromosomes of the Leptotene stage of first meiotic prophase into a dark staining knot [2,3].

See also


  • 1. McClung CE. The chromosome complex of orthopteran spermatocytes. The Biological Bulletin, 1905.
  • 2. Belar, K. Chromosomenreduktion. Die cytologischen Grundlagen der Vererbung. In: Handbuch der Vererbungswissenschaft (Geb. Borntraeger, Berlin), eds Baur, E. & Hartmann, M., Vol. 1: 168–201, 1928.
  • 3. Scherthan H. A bouquet makes ends meet. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2: 623, 2001.