Life with 6000 Genes
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.