We use the extensive published information describing the genome of Escherichia coli and new restriction map alignment software to align DNA sequence, genetic, and physical maps. Restriction map alignment software is used which considers restriction maps as strings analogous to DNA or protein sequences except that two values, enzyme name and DNA base address, are associated with each position on the string. The resulting alignments reveal a nearly linear relationship between the physical and genetic maps of the E. coli chromosome. Physical map comparisons with the 1976, 1980, and 1983 genetic maps demonstrate a better fit with the more recent maps. The results of these alignments are genomic kilobase coordinates, orientation and rank of the alignment that best fits the genetic data. A statistical measure based on extreme value distribution is applied to the alignments. Additional computer analyses allow us to estimate the accuracy of the published E. coli genomic restriction map, simulate rearrangements of the bacterial chromosome, and search for repetitive DNA. The procedures we used are general enough to be applicable to other genome mapping projects.
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