Medical Definition of Shotgun sequencing

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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