Fugu rubripes—the Japanese puffer fish—is farmed in Japan for its flesh and is considered a great delicacy. But it is its 365 million base genome that the scientists of the Fugu Genome Sequencing Consortium are most interested in.

The Fugu genome contains the same genes and regulatory sequences as the human genome, but has substantially less 'junk DNA' compared to the 3 billion base that constitute the human genome. On 26 October 2001, at the 13th International Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference, San Diego, California, Sydney Brenner and colleagues from the Fugu Genome Sequencing Consortium announced the completion of the Fugu DNA sequencing project.

The consortium employed a whole genome shotgun strategy to sequence the fish's genome. The DNA was fragmented into pieces that were small enough to sequence and then reassembled by a new computational algorithm called JAZZ, which had been developed at US Department of...

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