DataSheet1_Synaptonemal & CO analyzer: A tool for synaptonemal complex and crossover analysis in immunofluorescence images.PDF
During the formation of ova and sperm, homologous chromosomes get physically attached through the synaptonemal complex and exchange DNA at crossover sites by a process known as meiotic recombination. Chromosomes that do not recombine or have anomalous crossover distributions often separate poorly during the subsequent cell division and end up in abnormal numbers in ova or sperm, which can lead to miscarriage or developmental defects. Crossover numbers and distribution along the synaptonemal complex can be visualized by immunofluorescent microscopy. However, manual analysis of large numbers of cells is very time-consuming and a major bottleneck for recombination studies. Some image analysis tools have been created to overcome this situation, but they are not readily available, do not provide synaptonemal complex data, or do not tackle common experimental difficulties, such as overlapping chromosomes. To overcome these limitations, we have created and validated an open-source ImageJ macro routine that facilitates and speeds up the crossover and synaptonemal complex analyses in mouse chromosome spreads, as well as in other vertebrate species. It is free, easy to use and fulfills the recommendations for enhancing rigor and reproducibility in biomedical studies.