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A list of currently identified gene products of Escherichia coli is given, together with a bibliography that provides pointers to the literature on each gene product. A scheme to categorize cellular functions is used to classify the gene products of E. coli so far identified. A count shows that the numbers of genes concerned with small-molecule metabolism are on the same order as the numbers concerned with macromolecule biosynthesis and degradation. One large category is the category of tRNAs and their synthetases. Another is the category of transport elements. The categories of cell structure and cellular processes other than metabolism are smaller. Other subjects discussed are the occurrence in the E. coli genome of redundant pairs and groups of genes of identical or closely similar function, as well as variation in the degree of density of genetic information in different parts of the genome.