Human karyotypes, preparation details:

This page is incomplete. Soon there will be information on the techniques used to prepare these smears.  

Credit must be given here to Julie Robertson, of the State Laboratory of Hygeine, who selected these karyotypes from the archives of the State Lab of hygiene, and provided me with either the keys to the arrangements, or corrected my preliminary attempts. She also provided information on some of the less well known genotypes.

I converted the initial TIFF files to jpeg to allow easier transfer over the internet. These are the "originals" in each category of karyotype. In Photoshop, I removed cellular debris and separated crossed chromosomes, and those who were attached to each other. This is intended to produce an image that can be cut up and rearranged by students with little experience. I hope this will allow them to concentrate on the character of the chromosomes rather than the problems of deciding what is a chromosome. If you wish to challenge your students, provide them with prints of the original images.

Additionally, also in Photoshop, I rotated and moved the chromosomes into the pattern shown in the "key" images. Although these were based on determinations by the Lab of Hygiene, I must take responsibility for their correctness. There are some images for which I have not completed preparation of keys. They will arrive in time.

Here are several general references with substantial information on human chromosomes:

Gelehrter, T. and F. S. Collins. Principles of medical genetics.1990. Williams and Wilkins.

Stine, Gerald J. The new human genetics. 1989. Wm. C. Brown.

Verma, Ram and A. Babu. Human chromosomes: principles and techniques. 1995. McGraw-Hill.

If you find any problems, please let me know. I would like this site to be as complete and correct as possible.

Larry Phelps
University of Wisconsin, Baraboo
1006 Connie Road
Baraboo, WI 53913

608-356-8351, Ext 254

Or at the email address below.

Do you have suggestions for this page? Please email Larry Phelps (

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