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Microbial Genomes MultiplyThe publication of the first complete sequence of a bacterial genome in 1995 was a signal event, underscored by the fact that the article has been cited more than 2,100 times during the intervening seven years. It was a marvelous technical achievement, made possible by automatic DNA-sequencing machines. The feat is the more impressive in that complete genome sequencing has now been adopted in many different laboratories around the world. Four years ago in these columns I examined the situation after a dozen microbial genomes had been completed. Now, with upwards of 60 microbial genome sequences determined and twice that many in progress, it seems reasonable to assess just what is being learned. Are new concepts emerging about how cells work? Have there been practical benefits in the fields of medicine and agriculture? Is it feasible to determine the genomic sequence of every bacterial species on Earth? The answers to these questions maybe Yes, Perhaps, and No, respectively.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Doolittle, Russell F. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
April 18, 2002
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 416
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits