An international consortium has constructed a map of the mouse genome. The map provides a framework on which researchers will now assemble the whole-genome shotgun sequence data. "A physical map of a genome is an essential guide for navigation, allowing the location of any gene or other landmark in the chromosomal DNA," the team explain in Nature.
Large blocks of correspondence between the mouse and human genome chromosomal sequences enabled the researchers to correctly place how the chunks of mouse sequence that have been decoded might be laid out. "The human sequence may be used to facilitate construction of other mammalian genome maps using the same strategy," they conclude. As an added benefit, the mouse map may now be used as a reference to close gaps in the map of the human genome.
When it is complete, the sequence of the mouse genome will have a huge impact on biological research and human health. It will provide critical information and reagents for use in mouse experimental models. It will become possible to unravel the mechanisms of complex mammalian biological processes and human disease. The mouse genome sequence will provide the first opportunity to compare the complete sequence and organization of the human genome with that of another mammal. It will aid discovery and annotation of gene structures and other functionally important sequences in both genomes.
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