A method for producing a Y chromosome specific probe selected from highly repeating sequences on that chromosome is described. There is little or no nonspecific binding to autosomal and X chromosomes, and a very large signal is provided. Inventive primers allowing the use of PCR for both sample amplification and probe production are described, as is their use in producing large DNA chromosome painting sequences.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.