Article

Life with 6000 Genes

Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 11/1996; 274(5287):546, 563-7. DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5287.546
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The genome of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been completely sequenced through a worldwide collaboration. The sequence of 12,068 kilobases defines 5885 potential
protein-encoding genes, approximately 140 genes specifying ribosomal RNA, 40 genes for small nuclear RNA molecules, and 275
transfer RNA genes. In addition, the complete sequence provides information about the higher order organization of yeast's
16 chromosomes and allows some insight into their evolutionary history. The genome shows a considerable amount of apparent
genetic redundancy, and one of the major problems to be tackled during the next stage of the yeast genome project is to elucidate
the biological functions of all of these genes.

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    • "However, this is hardly ever the case: most of the genome sequences published are called ''unfinished'' as they are heavily fragmented, whereas the number of truly ''finished'' genomes remains remarkably low. Only the small, compact genomes of a few so-called ''model'' organisms have been fully assembled until now, mostly bacteria (such as Haemophilus influenzae and Escherichia coli [4] [5]) and fungi (e.g., Saccharomyces cerevisiae [6]) along with a single metazoan to date, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans [7]. All other sequences consist of ''drafts'' of varying quality, including the human genome that still contains numerous gaps but is nevertheless the most complete mammalian reference assembly available [8] [9]. "
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    • "More than 50 years later, in 1976, Walter Fiers reported the complete sequence of the bacteriophage MS2 RNA genome (Fiers et al. 1976 ); in 1977 Frederick Sanger reported the fi rst sequence of a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) genome (Phage Ф X-174; Sanger et al. 1977 ). In the following years, the genomic sequences of representative organisms from the three different domains of life were reported, being Haemophilus infl uenzae , Saccharomyces cerevisiae , and Methanococcus jannaschii the fi rsts on their respective domains (Fleischmann et al. 1995 ; Goffeau et al. 1996 ; Bult et al. 1996 ). Furthermore, in 1986 the fi rst two chloroplast genomes came into view when two different Japanese research teams reported full sequences for the chloroplast genomes of Marchantia polymorpha and Nicotiana tabacum (Ohyama et al. 1986 ; Shinozaki et al. 1986 ). Nowadays, the next generation of DNA sequencing technologies has advanced in precision, time consumption and cost, to the point that genomic information for 10,904 organisms is now publicly available; among them only 197 genomes correspond to plants ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/ "
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