Aneuploidy in human sperm: The use of multicolor FISH to test various theories of nondisjunction

E. L. Spriggs, A. W. Rademaker, R. H. Martin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


While it is known that all chromosomes are susceptible to meiotic nondisjunction, it is not clear whether all chromosomes display the same frequency of nondisjunction. By use of multicolor FISH and chromosome- specific probes, the frequency of disomy in human sperm was determined for chromosomes 1, 2, 4, 9, 12, 15, 16, 18, 20, and 21, and the sex chromosomes. A minimum of 10,000 sperm nuclei were scored from each of five healthy, chromosomally normal donors for every chromosome studied, giving a total of 418,931 sperm nuclei. The mean frequencies of disomy obtained were 0.09% for chromosome 1; 0.08% for chromosome 2; 0.11% for chromosome 4; 0.14% for chromosome 9; 0.16% for chromosome 12; 0.11% for chromosomes 15, 16, and 18; 0.12% for chromosome 20; 0.29% for chromosome 21; and 0.43% for the sex chromosomes. Data for chromosomes 1, 12, 15, and 18, and the sex chromosomes have been published elsewhere. When the mean frequencies of disomy were compared, the sex chromosomes and chromosome 21 had significantly higher frequencies of disomy than that of any other autosome studied. These results corroborate the pooled data obtained from human sperm karyotypes and suggest that the sex chromosome bivalent and the chromosome 21 bivalent are more susceptible to nondisjunction during spermatogenesis. From these findings, theories proposed to explain the variable incidence of nondisjunction can be supported or discarded as improbable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-362
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 8 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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