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Avian erythrocytes differ from most vertebrates in retaining the nucleus at maturity. During erythrocyte development, transcription is progressively shut down and nuclei become compact and heterochromatic. Since erythrocyte chromatin contains little other than histones and DNA, it is the material of choice for many in vivo and in vitro studies. This image, recorded on film at 100KV is a thin section, prepared from washed blood fixed with glutaraldehye, post-fixed with OsO4, embedded in plastic and stained with uranyl and lead salts. The dark, centrally located nucleus is prominent, and the chromatin so compact that the chromatin fiber organization is obscured.

Biological Sources

NCBI Organism Classification
Gallus gallus gallus
Cell Type
Cellular Component
nuclear chromatin

Biological Context

Biological Process
aerobic respiration
nucleus organization
chromatin organization
Molecular Function
oxygen transport


Chris Woodcock


This image is part of a group.


Image Type
recorded image
Imaging Mode
transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
Parameters Imaged
electron density
Source of Contrast
inelastic scattering
Visualization Methods
uranyl salt
lead salt
Processing History
unprocessed raw data

Sample Preparation

glutaraldehyde fixed tissue
microtome-sectioned tissue
Relation To Intact Cell
tissue in plastic embedment


Spatial Axis Image Size Pixel Size
X 4148px 0.8nm
Y 2810px 0.8nm
*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.