Celera Completes Assembly of Mouse Genome
Celera’s Assembled Mouse and Human Genomes Offer Subscribers Advantage in Comparative Genomics
Rockville, MD - April 27, 2001
Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA), an Applera Corporation business, announced today that it has completed the assembly of the mouse genome. Celera, which began sequencing the mouse in April 2000, has sequenced the 129X1/SvJ, DBA/2J, and A/J strains of mouse. Celera sequenced more than 15.9 billion base pairs of mouse genetic data, and now has approximately 6X-fold coverage of the mouse genome, ensuring greater than 99 percent representation of the mouse genome. The next phase of Celera’s research program will be to annotate the mouse genome to further refine the number and function of mouse genes.
Celera has sequenced and assembled the mouse genome with data generated exclusively from Celera’s high-throughput sequencing factory, proprietary algorithms, and the whole genome shotgun technique. The mouse genome contains about 2.6 billion base pairs compared to 2.9 billion base pairs in the human genome. Celera has identified nearly 2.5 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between the three mouse strains. This genetic diversity should be valuable in accelerating the characterization of mouse models of human disease. Celera believes that its database of mouse SNPs is one of the most comprehensive in the world.
“The mouse is a key biological model used by researchers around the world to decode the pathways and mechanisms of human disease because mice can either develop or be bred to develop a huge number of human diseases,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Celera’s president and chief scientific officer. “This is another validation of Celera’s Whole Genome Shotgun sequencing and assembly strategy. The sequence and assembly process was based entirely on Celera’s proprietary data and bioinformatics expertise. Having the Celera assembled and annotated human genome and the assembled mouse genome should enable Celera’s growing list of subscribers to enhance their research programs and accelerate their drug discovery efforts.”
A key component of Celera’s on-line information business model is to provide subscribers with the data and proprietary bioinformatics tools to compare genomes from various organisms -- comparative genomics. The comparison of the mouse, Drosophila, human, rat, and other model organisms’ genomes is expected to open many new avenues of research into the mechanisms of gene conservation and regulation, which could lead to a better understanding of gene function and disease mechanisms in humans. Having access to the mouse genome should allow researchers to make important discoveries in the regulation of human genes based on conserved gene structure and line-up, including DNA regulatory sequences outside of the protein-coding regions that are shared with mouse genes.
Whole Genome Shotgun Sequencing
Celera began to sequence the mouse genome in April 2000, using the Whole Genome Shotgun (WGS) technique that its scientists pioneered in sequencing the first complete genome of a free-living organism, which was decoded in 1995 at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR).
The WGS technique involves randomly shearing the mouse chromosomes into millions of pieces of 2,000, 10,000 and 50,000 base pairs in length. The chromosome fragments are inserted into a plasmid vector and propagated in E. coli to produce millions of copies of each fragment. A key feature to Celera’s sequencing method is that both ends of each fragment of DNA are sequenced (paired-end sequencing).
Celera generated 15.9 billion base pairs of mouse DNA from 27,453,844 sequence reads for the approximately 6X-fold coverage of the mouse genome. These letters of genetic code were then assembled into the proper order using the whole genome assembly algorithm. This method results in the reconstruction of the linear sequence of the 20 pairs of mouse chromosomes. Correctly ordered and oriented sequence is important because without it genes are mischaracterized or may even be missed. About 95% of the mouse genome is in segments of at least 100,000 base pairs and more than 80% is in segments of at least one million base pairs.
For more information on Celera’s Mouse Genome visit our web site at www.celera.com
Applera Corporation, formerly PE Corporation, comprises two operating groups. The Celera Genomics Group, headquartered in Rockville, MD, intends to be a definitive source of genomic and related medical information. Celera has developed three business units: the On-line Information Business, Discovery Sciences, and Discovery Services, all of which build upon Celera’s generation, integration, and analysis of biological information. Celera intends to enable therapeutic discoveries both through its own application of its scientific capabilities and in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE:ABI) develops and markets instrument-based systems, reagents, software, and contract services to the life science industry and research community. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of $1.4 billion during fiscal 2000. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available on the World Wide Web at www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923.
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