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Definition of Shotgun sequencing

Shotgun sequencing: An approach used to decode a genome by shredding ("shotgunning") it into smaller fragments of DNA which can then be individually sequenced. The sequences of these fragments are then ordered, based on overlaps in the genetic code, and finally reassembled into the complete sequence.

The "whole genome shotgun" method is applied to the entire genome all at once, while the "hierarchical shotgun" method is applied to large, overlapping DNA fragments of known location in the genome.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20667
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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