The plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) has become an important model species for the study of many aspects of plant biology1. The relatively small size of the nuclear genome and the availability of extensive physical maps of the five chromosomes2,3,4 provide a feasible basis for initiating sequencing of the five chromosomes. The YAC (yeast artificial chromosome)-based physical map of chromosome 4 was used to construct a sequence-ready map of cosmid and BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) clones covering a 1.9-megabase (Mb) contiguous region5, and the sequence of this region is reported here. Analysis of the sequence revealed an average gene density of one gene every 4.8 kilobases (kb), and 54% of the predicted genes had significant similarity to known genes. Other interesting features were found, such as the sequence of a disease-resistance gene locus, the distribution of retroelements, the frequent occurrence of clustered gene families, and the sequence of several classes of genes not previously encountered in plants.
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This work was initiated and sponsored by the European Commission, DG-XII Life Sciences. Additional support from the BBSRC Plant and Animal Genome Analysis Programme, GREG (Groupe de Recherche et d'Etude des Genomes), BioResearch Ireland, and Plan Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Technica is gratefully acknowledged.
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