Spectral Karyotyping (SKY)

SKY is a 24-color, whole-chromosome painting assay that allows the simultaneous visualization of each chromosome in different colors. Five spectrally distinct dyes are used in combination to create a cocktail of probes unique to each chromosome. The probe mixture is hybridized to metaphase chromosomes on a slide and then visualized with a spectral cube, which allows the measurement of the entire emission spectrum with a single exposure. The image is processed by computer software that can distinguish differences in color not discernible to the naked eye by assigning a numerical value to the RGB and pseudo color images.

SKY can detect chromosomal material of unknown origin, complex rearrangements, translocations, large deletions, duplications, aneuploidy, and more. Some disadvantages of SKY include ineffective detection of microdeletions and inversions. It can only be performed on dividing cells.

Investigator responsibilities:

  1. Provide fixed, frozen, or actively growing cells.
Testing Options
Identifies chromosomal aberrations  
Translocations (balanced)
Yes 
Translocations (unbalanced)
Yes 
Copy number changes
Yes 
Additions (>10MB)
Yes 
Deletions (>10MB)
Yes 
Deletions of specific genes/loci
No 
Inversions
Sometimes 
Insertions
Yes 
Identifies presence of markers
Yes 
Distinguishes between double minutes and homogeneously staining regions
Yes 
Identifies chromosomal origins
Yes 
Identifies specific p/q arms/bands
No 
Requires specifically labeled probes
Yes 
More than two probes at one time
Yes 
Requires viable material
Yes 
Requires metaphase spreads
Yes 
Applicable to interphase nuclei
No 
Applicable to DNA extracted from paraffin embedded tissue
No 
Affected by normal tissue contamination
Yes 
Identifies tumor heterogeneity
Yes 
Applicable for studies in other species
Yes 

Sample Requirements:

  • Peripheral blood: 5-10 mls in Heparin container
  • Culture: Culture must be actively growing with media supplied. A T-75 flask is preferred. Tissue culture flask must not be vented. This prevents spillage and contamination during transit. Do not fill beyond recommendation of flask i.e. (to the absolute top of flask or tube).

Please inquire if your sample varies from the listed recommendations. Please inquire for likely turnaround time.