A physical map of a genome is the structure of its DNA. Construction of such a map is a first step in the complete characterization of that DNA. The restriction endonuclease Not I cuts the genome of Escherichia coli K12 into 22 DNA fragments ranging from 20 kilobases (20,000 base pairs) to 1000 kilobases. These can be separated by pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The order of the fragments in the genome was determined from available E. coli genetic information and analysis of partial digest patterns. The resulting ordered set of fragments is a macrorestriction map. This map facilitates genetic and molecular studies on E. coli, and its construction serves as a model for further endeavors on larger genomes.