Molecular Biology of Unicellular Organisms Group - Projects

Yeast Genome Sequencing

(D. Alexandraki, C. Katsoulou, G. Thireos, M. Tzermia)

For the first time, in May 1992, the complete nucleotide sequence (315 kb) of an entire chromosome - namely, that of the yeast chromosome III - was published by 35 European laboratories. This successful project of the European Commission revealed interesting structural features, the significance of which will be unraveled in the future. In addition, it revealed many new genes representing unknown functions, one third of which have no known homologues. In 1994, the sequence of two more chromosomes was published: chromosome II of 820 kb and chromosome XI of 666 kb. By the end of 1995, more than 50% of the yeast genome will have been sequenced under the European Union project, and by the end of 1996 the entire sequence of the yeast genome will be known by an International joint effort. Our group has contributed with 130 Kbp of sequences from different cosmids of four different chromosomes (III, XI, X and XV). Using specific computer programmes we can identify potentially transcribed and protein-coding regions. The function of some of these can be predicted by defined structural features. Selected open reading frames (ORFs) are further analyzed by genetic and biochemical methods. We are currently participating in the European Network for the Functional Analysis of Yeast Genes discovered by the Systematic DNA Sequencing (EUROFAN).

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