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Genome Res. 2000 May;10(5):624-33.

Comparative genome mapping in the sequence-based era: early experience with human chromosome 7.

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  • 1Genome Technology Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 USA.


The success of the ongoing Human Genome Project has resulted in accelerated plans for completing the human genome sequence and the earlier-than-anticipated initiation of efforts to sequence the mouse genome. As a complement to these efforts, we are utilizing the available human sequence to refine human-mouse comparative maps and to assemble sequence-ready mouse physical maps. Here we describe how the first glimpses of genomic sequence from human chromosome 7 are directly facilitating these activities. Specifically, we are actively enhancing the available human-mouse comparative map by analyzing human chromosome 7 sequence for the presence of orthologs of mapped mouse genes. Such orthologs can then be precisely positioned relative to mapped human STSs and other genes. The chromosome 7 sequence generated to date has allowed us to more than double the number of genes that can be placed on the comparative map. The latter effort reveals that human chromosome 7 is represented by at least 20 orthologous segments of DNA in the mouse genome. A second component of our program involves systematically analyzing the evolving human chromosome 7 sequence for the presence of matching mouse genes and expressed-sequence tags (ESTs). Mouse-specific hybridization probes are designed from such sequences and used to screen a mouse bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library, with the resulting data used to assemble BAC contigs based on probe-content data. Nascent contigs are then expanded using probes derived from newly generated BAC-end sequences. This approach produces BAC-based sequence-ready maps that are known to contain a gene(s) and are homologous to segments of the human genome for which sequence is already available. Our ongoing efforts have thus far resulted in the isolation and mapping of >3,800 mouse BACs, which have been assembled into >100 contigs. These contigs include >250 genes and represent approximately 40% of the mouse genome that is homologous to human chromosome 7. Together, these approaches illustrate how the availability of genomic sequence directly facilitates studies in comparative genomics and genome evolution.

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