Friday, August 31, 2007

This Week's Citation Classic

W. Fiers, R. Contreras, F. Duerinck, G. Haegeman, D. Iserentant, J. Merregaert, W. Min Jou, F. Molemans, A. Raeymaekers, A. Van den Berghe, G. Volckaert & M. Ysebaert. 1976. Complete nucleotide sequence of bacteriophage MS2 RNA: primary and secondary structure of the replicase gene. Nature 260:500-7.

Today full genome sequences are popping up almost daily, so it's almost hard to believe that over 30 years ago, the first genome was sequenced. I've often heard that the first genome sequenced was phage Phi-X174 by two-time Nobelist Fred Sanger and colleagues. Not true! Phi-X174 was the first DNA genome sequenced. Walt Fiers and colleagues sequenced the first full genome, the ~3.5kb RNA genome of the bacteriophage MS2.

Photo: Electron micrograph of Leviviridae courtesy of Hans-Wolfgang Ackermann, Laval University, Quebec.

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