Firms claim automated processing will minimize manual steps for targeted sequencing applications.

Fluidigm and 454 Life Sciences have agreed to co-promote their respective and complementary sample-preparation and sequencing platforms, worldwide. The firms say Fluidigm’s Access Array™ system enables automated processing of 48 samples against 48 different amplicons, resulting in PCR products ready for PCR amplification and sequencing using 454’s GS Junior or GS FLX sequencing systems. They suggest partnering their technologies will minimize the number of manual steps required for targeted sequencing applications, including genotyping and rare variant detection.

“We believe that the Access Array system and the GS Junior system are extremely complementary, allowing analysis of large numbers of sample/amplicon combinations in an affordable workflow, without the need for complicated liquid handling,” remarks Christopher McLeod, president and CEO at 454. “In essence, a single Access Array plate on a single GS Junior System run generates as much data as hundreds, even thousands, of 96-well plates analyzed on a capillary sequencing system.”

Fluidigm’s Access Array is a microfluidic chip that allows the user to amplify 48 specific amplicons from 48 unique samples, effectively preparing 48 libraries in just a few hours. In addition, each sample can be differentially barcoded and tagged at the amplification step, allowing for multiplexing at the sequencing step and completely eliminating the need for traditional library preparation, Fluidigm claims. As an open platform, Access Array is suitable for any PCR-based sample-preparation application using the reagents and the primers of choice.

In April the firm released a protocol for the Access Array system to enable the sequencing of amplicon libraries using GS FLX Titanium Series reagents on the 454 GS FLX sequencing system.

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