Edited by: Eugene Russo
F.R. Blattner, G. Plunkett, C.A. Bloch, N.T. Perna, V. Burland, M. Riley, J. Collado-Vides, J.D. Glasner, C.K. Rode, G.F. Mayhew, J. Gregor, N.W. Davis, H.A. Kirkpatrick, M.A. Goeden, D.J. Rose, B. Mau, Y. Shao, "The complete genome sequence of Escherichia coli K-12," Science, 277:1453, 1997. (Cited in more than 490 papers since publication)

Comments by Fred R. Blattner, professor of genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison

The utility of obtaining the whole genome sequence for Escherichia coli K-12 was pretty apparent when University of Wisconsin researchers embarked on the project in the early 1990s. The widely studied bacteria constitute one of several strains of E. coli that can cause conditions such as diarrhea, bladder and kidney infections, and pneumonia. Less obvious, however, was whether the imposing sequencing feat was actually within reach. "One of the biggest challenges was convincing funding agencies that ... it...

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