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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2002 Dec;68(12):6321-31.

A whole-genome shotgun optical map of Yersinia pestis strain KIM.

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Laboratory for Molecular and Computational Genomics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53706, USA.


Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plagues (also known as black death) and has been responsible for recurrent devastating pandemics throughout history. To further understand this virulent bacterium and to accelerate an ongoing sequencing project, two whole-genome restriction maps (XhoI and PvuII) of Y. pestis strain KIM were constructed using shotgun optical mapping. This approach constructs ordered restriction maps from randomly sheared individual DNA molecules directly extracted from cells. The two maps served different purposes; the XhoI map facilitated sequence assembly by providing a scaffold for high-resolution alignment, while the PvuII map verified genome sequence assembly. Our results show that such maps facilitated the closure of sequence gaps and, most importantly, provided a purely independent means for sequence validation. Given the recent advancements to the optical mapping system, increased resolution and throughput are enabling such maps to guide sequence assembly at a very early stage of a microbial sequencing project.

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