Human Genome Project

Martin Kennedy mkennedy at
Sat Apr 15 05:10:28 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.950412173251.23773B-100000 at>, James Burns <burns at> writes:
> I have participated in many discussions about the human genome project. I 
> have answered many questions, but have asked many more. So, here is one 
> more for the crowd.
> Whose DNA is being sequenced? It is a very simple question, but a very 
> important one.
> jay

The simple answer to this question is that BITS of the genomes of 
MANY people are being sequenced.  Every lab has their own sources 
of DNA, and their own reasons for sequencing that particular DNA. 
Perhaps they have a particularly good genomic library, made from 
one individual, that they source their clones from for 

It is fair to say, though, that there will be vastly 
different contributions by different genomes to the completed 
project.  The major YAC libraries used in the genome project, 
derived from different individuals (or a cell line from 
each individual), are key resources for genome sequencers 
and they will represent a disproportionately large part 
of the final sequence. The reagents used in the construction of 
these YAC libraries (but not the names of the individuals from 
which the DNA was derived) will be detailed in the papers 
describing their construction. Many other laboratories will 
contribute the sequence of one or two genes to the databases, and 
these may be derived from the many hundreds of different genomic 
libraries in existence.  

So, while the completed human genome sequence will be derived 
from many hundreds or even thousands of different human genomes, 
one or two different individuals may be vastly over-represented 
in the final sequence. However, given that (on average) each 
human genome has something like 30 million polymorphic  bases 
the final sequence will only be an approximation, and will not 
be a complete representation of any individual genome.



NNNN   NN  Martin A Kennedy (E-mail = mkennedy at  ZZZZZZZ  
NN NN  NN       Cytogenetic and Molecular Oncology Unit          ZZZ
NN  NN NN           Christchurch School of Medicine            ZZZ
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