The first genome, that of RNA bacteriophage MS2, was sequenced in 1976, in a truly heroic feat of direct determination of an RNA sequence . This was followed by the genome of bacteriophage ϕX174, the first triumph of the new, rapid sequencing methods developed in the laboratories of Walter Gilbert and Fred Sanger [553,743]. These are some of the smallest known genomes with only four and ten genes, respectively. Then, in 1982, the last paper published by Sanger before he retired, announced the first relatively large genome to be sequenced, that of bacteriophage λ, probably the most famous model system of classic molecular biology . Phage λ has 48,502 bases of genomic DNA and ~70 known and predicted protein-coding genes and 23 RNA-coding genes. At 70 characters per line and 43 lines per page, this sequence alone would take over 16 pages of this book. However, the listing of the λ protein-coding genes (Table 1.1) fits into just two pages and definitely conveys more information. These days, it may be hard to imagine all the excitement felt by molecular biologists 20 years ago when the λ genome was finally finished.
KeywordsComparative Genomic Ureaplasma Urealyticum Debaryomyces Hansenii Brucella Melitensis Xylella Fastidiosa
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