SUMMARY: Increased productivity in DNA sequencing would not be valid without a straightforward detection and estimation of errors in finished sequences. The sequence of the surfactin operon from was obtained by two different groups and by chance we were also working on the same chromosome region. Taking advantage of this situation we report in this paper, the number and nature of errors found in the overlapping part of the DNA sequences obtained by the three laboratories. The coincidence of some of the errors with compression in sequence ladders and with secondary DNA structures as well as the detection of frameshift errors using computer programs, are demonstrated. Finally we discuss the definition of a new sequencing strategy that might minimize both the error rate and the cost of sequencing.


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