Applied Biosystems expects that the SOLiD™ 3 System will enable scientists to sequence a human genome for approximately $10,000. Significant cost-reduction and productivity enhancements have been built into the latest version of this ultrahigh-throughput analysis platform, the company reports.
The firm notes that upgrades to the system architecture and data analysis software as well as increased streamlining in workflows and multiplexing capabilities will also decrease the time and resources needed. Altogether, Applied Biosystems believes that this third-generation sequencer will enable scientists to more rapidly convert samples into mappable sequence data and reduce run times by up to 42%, compared to earlier versions of the platform.
The combination of the open-slide format, bead enrichment, and software algorithms provides the infrastructure for allowing the SOLiD 3 to scale to even higher levels of throughput without significant changes to the underlying technology. The open-slide format that uses beads containing DNA samples to input genomic information into the system. It supports the deposit of high densities of beads per slide, which results in the generation of up to 20 gigabases of mappable sequence data per run, according to Applied Biosystems.
Add to these enhancements a new powerful compute cluster, easier slide loading, optimized chemistry, and longer read lengths of more than 50 base pairs and you get a platform that enables cost-effective sequencing and targeted resequencing applications, notes the company. The inherent scalability of the platform enables approximately sevenfold coverage across the entire human genome in a single run.
The system's multiplexing capability is expected to reduce both labor and reagent costs for researchers preparing samples for the SOLiD 3 System by allowing them to pool multiple libraries of nucleic acid fragments. These pooled samples can then be sequenced in a single reaction. Researchers can use each pooled, labeled set of samples in different slide configurations, enabling the ability to sequence up to 256 samples in a single sequencing run.