The development of the Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) system was driven in part by the Human Genome Project as a means to construct genomic DNA libraries and physical maps for genomic sequencing. The BAC system is based on the well-characterized Escherichia coli F-factor, a low copy plasmid that exists in a supercoiled circular form in host cells. The structural features of the F-factor allow stable maintenance of individual human DNA clones as well as easymanipulation of the cloned DNA. BACs are currently used in a wide array of applications from genome sequencing to gene discovery. This paper describes the key elements in the development of the BAC system and its current notable applications.
by The Keio Journal of Medicine