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For High-Quality Ant Genomes, Scientific Alliance Chooses SMRT Sequencing

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Photo by Luke Elstad

The Global Ant Genomics Alliance (GAGA) recently announced that it has adopted SMRT Sequencing as its technology of choice for generating high-quality genome assemblies. The alliance, made up of more than 50 scientists at dozens of institutions around the world, aims to sequence 200 ant species to provide a comprehensive look at genomic diversity across ant genera and to provide the scientific community with a foundation of data to enable decades worth of research.

GAGA teamed up with genomic service provider Novogene, which agreed to purchase 10 Sequel Systems earlier this year. In the announcement, GAGA noted that SMRT Sequencing enables “high quality genome assemblies with very few gaps. It is likely to become the dominant technology for de novo reference genome sequencing.”

GAGA also stated in the announcement that choosing SMRT Sequencing “should make sure that ant genomes generated under GAGA will meet future quality standards of journals and repositories.” This is particularly useful in working toward GAGA’s goals of generating a genome-based phylogeny for ants, studying the adaptive significance of physical caste phenotypes, and understanding how ants have adapted to different methods of resource acquisition.

For more information on the alliance, check out GAGA’s website. We look forward to seeing lots of reference-grade de novo genome assemblies coming from this group soon!

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