In the February 16 Science, Venter et al. announce the sequencing of the euchromatic portion of the human genome by a whole-genome shotgun sequencing approach (Science 2001, 291:1304-1350). The sequencing achievement was accomplished by Celera Genomics in nine months in a factory-scale project involving 300 automatic squencing machines (ABI PRISM 3700) producing 175,000 sequence-reads per day. The company generated 14.8 gigabases (Gb) of DNA sequence and combined data with the public GenBank) database to generate a 2.91 Gb consensus sequence (94% coverage) representing over eight-fold coverage of the genome.

Venter et al. constructed a series of high-quality plasmid libraries (with 2, 10 and 50 kilobase inserts) from five individual DNA donors of diverse ethnic origin. Data from paired sequence reads (averaging 543 basepairs (bp)) were pooled with GenBank data that had been shredded into 550 bp fragments. The authors used two different assembly strategies:...

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