Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know that the reference human genome is complied from DNA portions from different people, most of whom were European. Do you know how many of them were involved? Do you know which ones were involved? Perhaps scientists like James Watson and George Church's DNA were in the reference genome. Also, I would assume that the NIH funded Human Genome Project's reference genome must be slightly different from the privately funded one.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

tl;dr: In the Human Genome Project, they used the DNA of four people (though one male provided >70% of DNA. The Celera genome was compiled from five people.

In the [...] Human Genome Project (HGP), [...] scientists used white blood cells from the blood of two male and two female donors (randomly selected from 20 of each) -- each donor yielding a separate DNA library. One of these libraries (RP11 [anonymous donor from Buffalo, NY]) was used considerably more than others, due to quality considerations.

[...]

In the Celera Genomics private-sector project, DNA from five different individuals were used for sequencing. The lead scientist of Celera Genomics at that time, Craig Venter, later acknowledged (in a public letter to the journal Science) that his DNA was one of 21 samples in the pool, five of which were selected for use.

On September 4, 2007, a team led by Craig Venter published his complete DNA sequence,[21] unveiling the six-billion-nucleotide genome of a single individual for the first time.)

Source: Wikipedia

share|improve this answer
    
Can you please give me a link to the source of this text? –  Gergana Vandova Dec 19 '11 at 22:18
    
@GerganaVandova: Please follow the Wikipedia link. If you want original references, have a look at References 17-21. –  Jonas Dec 19 '11 at 22:20
    
Wow, I read so many papers regarding this matter, but never wikipedia. Thanks. But do you think it is really unknown exactly from which source the DNA came? –  Gergana Vandova Dec 19 '11 at 22:21
1  
@GerganaVandova: If the HGP can track down RP11, or any other of the chosen donors, then they did a poor job at anonymizing the donors and might be sued for that. With Celera, who knows who might know? I'd almost bet that Venter was one of the five; I guess it may be possible to try and find out by aligning the Celera genome to the Venter genome. –  Jonas Dec 19 '11 at 22:25
1  
@GerganaVandova: Yes, it is –  Jonas Dec 20 '11 at 2:08

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.