Online Education Kit: 1990: Research on BACs

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

1990: Research on BACs

Illustration of a BACIn 1990, researchers began to study how to efficiently produce stable carriers of large DNA inserts in bacteria, so-called BACs.

A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) is a piece of human DNA fitted into a bacterial "vector", a carrier of DNA. The human DNA insert in BACs - typically 100,000 to 300,000 base pairs long - is more stably inherited than in YACs. Many copies of the human insert are made when the bacteria multiply. They can be used as the pieces of the puzzle when making a physical map of the genome and can be chopped up further for sequencing.

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Shizuya, H., Birren B., Kim, U.J., Mancino, V., Slepak, T., Tachiiri, Y., Simon, M. Cloning and stable maintenance of 300-kilobase-pair fragments of human DNA in Escherichia coli using an F-factor-based vector. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 89:8794-7. 1992. [PubMed]

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Last Reviewed: May 6, 2013