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  Section: Biotechnology Methods » Cell Biology and Genetics
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Buccal Epithelial Smear and Barr Body

Cell Biology and Genetics
  Cell Cycles
  Meiosis in Flower Buds of Allium Cepa-Acetocarmine Stain
  Meiosis in Grasshopper Testis (Poecilocerus Pictus)
  Mitosis in Onion Root Tip (Allium Cepa)
  Differential Staining of Blood
  Buccal Epithelial Smear and Barr Body
  Vital Staining of DNA and RNA in Paramecium
  Induction of Polyploidy
  Mounting of Genitalia in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Mounting of Genitalia in the Silk Moth Bombyx Mori
  Mounting of the Sex Comb in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Mounting of the Mouth Parts of the Mosquito
  Normal Human Karyotyping
  Black and White Film Development and Printing for Karyotype Analysis
  Study of Drumsticks in the Neutrophils of Females
  Study of the Malaria Parasite
  Vital Staining of DNA and RNA in Paramecium
  Sex-Linked Inheritance in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Preparation of Somatic Chromosomes from Rat Bone Marrow
  Chromosomal Aberrations
  Study of Phenocopy
  Study of Mendelian Traits
  Estimation of Number of Erythrocytes [RBC] in Human Blood
  Estimation of Number of Leucocytes (WBC) in Human Blood
  Culturing Techniques and Handling of Flies
  Life Cycle of the Mosquito (Culex Pipiens)
  Life Cycle of the Silkworm (Bombyx Mori)
  Vital Staining of Earthworm Ovary
  Culturing and Observation of Paramecium
  Culturing and Staining of E.coli (Gram’s Staining)
  Breeding Experiments in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Preparation of Salivary Gland Chromosomes
  Observation of Mutants in Drosophila Melanogaster
  ABO Blood Grouping and Rh Factor in Humans
  Determination of Blood Group and Rh Factor
  Demonstration of the Law of Independent Assortment
  Demonstration of Law of Segregation

The study of the Barr body from the (female) smear of Buccal epithelial cells.

  • Buccal epithelial cells
  • Giemsa stain
  • Carnoy’s fixative
  • Slides
  • Cover slip
  • Microscope, etc.

  1. Gently rub the inside of the cheek with a flat rounded piece of wood and transfer the scraping over a clean glass slide.
  2. Then, made a thin film of cells on the slide and keep them for air-drying.
  3. Air-dried smear was kept in Carnoy’s fixative for 30–35 minutes.
  4. Then, the Giemsa stain was poured and allowed to stand for 20–25 minutes.
  5. After staining, the slide was washed with distilled water to remove the excess stain.
  6. Finally, the slide was kept for air-drying and then observed under the microscope.

We found that very lightly stained cells are scattered here and there in the smear. In the cells, violet-Barr bodies are observed inside a pink nucleus. A Barr body is nothing but an inactivated (heterochromatinized) X chromosome. It was first observed by Murray Barr in 1949. It is found only in female cells, because in those 1 X chromosome is enough for metabolic activity. It is absent in male somatic cells, because there only 1 X chromosome is present, which is in an active state.


The smear or film should be uniform and thin over the glass slide so that the cells will not overlap each other.


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