Representation of subcloned Caenorhabditis elegans and human DNA sequences in both M13 and pUC sequencing vectors was determined in the context of large scale genomic sequencing. In many cases, regions of subclone under-representation correlated with the occurrence of repeat sequences, and in some cases the under-representation was orientation specific. Factors which affected subclone representation included the nature and complexity of the repeat sequence, as well as the length of the repeat region. In some but not all cases, notable differences between the M13 and pUC subclone distributions existed. However, in all regions lacking one type of subclone (either M13 or pUC), an alternate subclone was identified in at least one orientation. This suggests that complementary use of M13 and pUC subclones would provide the most comprehensive subclone coverage of a given genomic sequence.