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Aaron Heiss

Nathan Myers -- in response to your question, yes, it is common to sequence the complement of mRNA at particular stages. Unfortunately, the terminology for it is not clear. Yana mentioned EST projects, and that is exactly what you suggest! "EST" stands for "Expressed Sequence Tag", which is another term for mRNA. These projects are common in the protistological community, since they are a fraction of the size of full genome sequencing, and yet consist only of genes (while genomes contain a huge amount of noncoding DNA). As such, they represent a great value for (grant) money. Of course, EST data misses out on a number of important bits of information (gene order and chromosomal arrangement being one obvious example, and regulatory sequences another), but it is still better than nothing, and it has the advantage of showing what genes are expressed at any particular time (assuming that you have a synchronously-growing culture!).

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