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The use of sequencing continues to expand, as evidenced by the increase in the number of articles that mention sequencing. Indeed, according to PubMed.gov search results, this number doubled between 2000 and 2022. Along with this overall increase in using DNA sequencing, there are indications that laboratories and companies are making use of various forms of sequencing. “Different customers have different needs,” observes Radoje T. Drmanac, PhD, chief scientific officer of Complete Genomics, a California-based subsidiary of MGI Tech.
To help customers meet an expanding range of sequencing challenges, Complete Genomics launched two new sequencers and a library prep kit for long-fragment reads at the 2023 Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) General Meeting. The two new sequencers join the four that Complete Genomics already offers to U.S. customers. “Having the ability to provide diverse genetic sequencers that range from low- to ultra-high-throughput and that cover diverse applications allows Complete Genomics to better serve various customer needs,” Drmanac explains.
Expanding the options
The two new sequencers are called the DNBSEQ-G99* and DNBSEQ-T20×2*. “The DNBSEQ-G99 is our latest gene sequencer with low- to mid-range throughput,” Drmanac says. “It is especially suitable for targeted gene sequencing and small genome sequencing.” In just 12 hours, the DNBSEQ-G99 reads 150 base pairs from each end of a sample fragment and collects 8–48 gigabytes of data .
“In basic scientific research and the clinical field, such a fast and efficient sequencing platform can support rapid process or protocol adjustment and faster generation of research results,” Drmanac adds. “It is one of the fastest sequencers in the world among those with similar throughput, and it enables faster sequence-based disease understanding, diagnoses, and treatment selection.”
In many DNA sequencing applications, scale and economics play crucial roles in wider use of this powerful technology . The DNBSEQ-T20×2 can read as many as 50,000 whole genome sequences in a year at an amazing widely affordable price—less than $100 per genome, including instrument depreciation. Complete Genomics is reducing sequencing price to less than $1 per gigabyte. “That will become an important force driving the development and expansion of the global genetic industry, accelerating the progress of the human genome understanding and medical applications, and fundamentally reshaping the industry ecology,” Drmanac insists.
By expanding its family of sequencers, Complete Genomics can serve many scientists. Searching for new species, for instance, might require working outside a laboratory—even in remote locations—but that doesn’t preclude an opportunity to sequence samples. “The DNBSEQ-E25* is a portable and easy-to-use benchtop sequencer that has no special laboratory environment requirements,” Drmanac asserts. “It’s so easy to carry that you can take it on a train or plane for an urgent business trip. Customers who prefer flexible sequencers will love it.”
Scientists seeking Big Data can use Complete Genomics’ DNBSEQ-T7*, which is a flexible sequencer that can generate 1–7 terabases of high-quality data in a day. “It can be very helpful on large-scale population genomics sequencing, national genome sequencing projects, and large-scale single-cell or spatial-genomics projects,” Drmanac notes. For even higher throughput, scientists can use Complete Genomics’ T20×2 sequencers, which can generate over 20 terabases per day*.
Long-fragment reads combined with PCR-free WGS
The genomic industry’s eco-system includes tools beyond sequencers. To enable multiple read-length options, Complete Genomics introduced a new library-prep kit called stLFR. It barcodes DNA for massive parallel sequencing (MPS) and next generation sequencing (NGS). “The stLFR kit—based on multiple proprietary technologies—enables efficient, inexpensive, and unique barcoding of DNA for more informative MPS and NGS reads analogous to sequencing 30 to 300kb long DNA molecules,” Drmanac points out. “It can be used in every laboratory using standard sequencing library-prep equipment.”
This simplified method of producing barcoded DNA offers crucial advances in various sequencing applications. One application combines Complete Genomics’ REAL PCR-free WGS with stLFR WGS to generate a new industry standard in advanced WGS. “Now, scientists and medical doctors can get more accurate and complete WGS, including haplotype phasing, structural variation, and pseudogene resolution that is highly affordable to better identify genetic diseases, enhance in vitro fertilization, and improve cancer treatments,” Drmanac continues. “The kit also enables special NGS library prep for low-cost de novo genome sequencing of new species and advanced metagenomics.”
Drmanac concludes, “Having a big sequencer family means customers can select whatever they need from Complete Genomics in a one-stop shop.”
* Unless otherwise informed, StandardMPS and CoolMPS sequencing reagents, and sequencers for use with such reagents, are not available in Germany, Spain, UK, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, and Romania. Unless otherwise informed, StandardMPS sequencing reagents, and sequencers for use with such reagents are not available in Hong Kong.