A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) is a DNA construct, based on a fertility plasmid (or F-plasmid), used for transforming and cloning in bacteria, usually E. coli. F-plasmids play a crucial role because they contain partition genes that promote the even distribution of plasmids after bacterial cell division. The bacterial artificial chromosome's usual insert size is 150 kbp, with a range from 100 to 300 kbp. A similar cloning vector, called a PAC has also been produced from the bacterial P1-plasmid.
BACs are often used to sequence the genetic code of organisms in genome projects, for example the Human Genome Project. A short piece of the organism's DNA is amplified as an insert in BACs, and then sequenced. Finally, the sequenced parts are rearranged in silico, resulting in the genomic sequence of the organism.