Before the popular Sanger sequencing came about, there were two DNA sequencing methods introduced by Alan Maxam and Walter Gilbert in 1973 and 1976.
The first is known as the wandering-spot analysis, which reported sequence of a *whopping* 24 base pairs.
The second, more effective yet still limiting method used chemical sequencing. This means it used chemical processes to terminate DNA strands. These fragment DNA pieces were then run through a gel to resolve the sequence order.
Maxam-Gilbert sequencing was at one point more popular than the Sanger method. Purified DNA could be used directly, while the Sanger method required that each read start be cloned for production of single-stranded DNA.
Cons included difficulties scaling up, and the handling of X-rays and radiolabeling, which were harmful to technicians.
Gilbert, W., and A. Maxam. "The Nucleotide Sequence of the Lac Operator." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 70.12 (1973): 3581-584. Web.
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