August 19, 2021  |  Sample + library preparation

Product Note: SMRTbell express template prep 2.0 for large-insert libraries

The SMRTbell Express Template Prep Kit 2.0 provides a streamlined, single-tube reaction strategy to generate SMRTbell libraries from 500 bp to >50 kb insert size targets to support large-insert genomic libraries, multiplexed microbial genomes and amplicon sequencing. With this new formulation, we have increased both the yield and efficiency of SMRTbell library preparation for SMRT Sequencing while further minimizing handling-induced DNA damage to retain the integrity of genomic DNA (gDNA). This product note highlights the key benefits, performance, and resources available for supporting de novo genome sequencing and structural variant detection projects. Our large-insert gDNA protocol has been streamlined to support SMRTbell library generation in only 4 hours, making complete construction in less than a day. This significantly reduces time to results for generating high-quality genome assemblies to fully characterize SNPs and structural variants. Additional key benefits of this template preparation kit and updated protocol include library generation with as little as 2 to 3 µg input gDNA and flexibility to accommodate and adjust input amount in accordance with the extracted gDNA quality.

June 1, 2021  |  

Low-input long-read sequencing for complete microbial genomes and metagenomic community analysis

Microbial genome sequencing can be done quickly, easily, and efficiently with the PacBio sequencing instruments, resulting in complete de novo assemblies. Alternative protocols have been developed to reduce the amount of purified DNA required for SMRT Sequencing, to broaden applicability to lower-abundance samples. If 50-100 ng of microbial DNA is available, a 10-20 kb SMRTbell library can be made. The resulting library can be loaded onto multiple SMRT Cells, yielding more than enough data for complete assembly of microbial genomes using the SMRT Portal assembly program HGAP, plus base modification analysis. The entire process can be done in less than 3 days by standard laboratory personnel. This approach is particularly important for analysis of metagenomic communities, in which genomic DNA is often limited. From these samples, full-length 16S amplicons can be generated, prepped with the standard SMRTbell library prep protocol, and sequenced. Alternatively, a 2 kb sheared library, made from a few ng of input DNA, can also be used to elucidate the microbial composition of a community, and may provide information about biochemical pathways present in the sample. In both these cases, 1-2 kb reads with >99.9% accuracy can be obtained from Circular Consensus Sequencing.

June 1, 2021  |  

Application specific barcoding strategies for SMRT Sequencing

Over the last few years, several advances were implemented in the PacBio RS II System to maximize throughput and efficiency while reducing the cost per sample. The number of useable bases per SMRT Cell now exceeds 1 Gb with the latest P6-C4 chemistry and 6-hour movies. For applications such as microbial sequencing, targeted sequencing, Iso-Seq (full-length isoform sequencing) and Nimblegen’s target enrichment method, current SMRT Cell yields could be an excess relative to project requirements. To this end, barcoding is a viable option for multiplexing samples. For microbial sequencing, multiplexing can be accomplished by tagging sheared genomic DNA during library construction with modified SMRTbell adapters. We studied the performance of 2- to 8-plex microbial sequencing. For full-length amplicon sequencing such as HLA typing, amplicons as large as 5 kb may be barcoded during amplification using barcoded locus-specific primers. Alternatively, amplicons may be barcoded during SMRTbell library construction using barcoded SMRTbell adapters. The preferred barcoding strategy depends on the user’s existing workflow and flexibility to changing and/or updating existing workflows. Using barcoded adapters, five Class I and II genes (3.3 – 5.8 kb) x 96 patients can be multiplexed and typed. For Iso-Seq full-length cDNA sequencing, barcodes are incorporated during 1st-strand synthesis and are enabled by tailing the oligo-dT primer with any PacBio published 16-bp barcode sequences. RNA samples from 6 maize tissues were multiplexed to generate barcoded cDNA libraries. The NimbleGen SeqCap Target Enrichment method, combined with PacBio’s long-read sequencing, provides comprehensive view of multi-kilobase contiguous regions, both exonic and intronic regions. To make this cost effective, we recommend barcoding samples for pooling prior to target enrichment and capture. Here, we present specific examples of strategies and best practices for multiplexing samples for different applications for SMRT Sequencing. Additionally, we describe recommendations for analyzing barcoded samples.

June 1, 2021  |  

Library prep and bioinformatics improvements for full-length transcript sequencing on the PacBio Sequel System

The PacBio Iso-Seq method produces high-quality, full-length transcripts of up to 10 kb and longer and has been used to annotate many important plant and animal genomes. Here we describe an improved, simplified library workflow and analysis pipeline that reduces library preparation time, RNA input, and cost. The Iso-Seq V2 Express workflow is a one day protocol that requires only ~300 ng of total RNA input while also reducing the number of reverse transcription and amplification steps down to single reactions. Compared with the previous workflow, the Iso-Seq V2 Express workflow increases the percentage of full-length (FL) reads while achieving a higher average transcript length. At the same time, the Iso-Seq 3 analysis recently released in the SMRT Link 6.0 software is a major improvement over previous versions. Iso-Seq 3 is highly accurate at detecting and removing library artifacts (TSO and RT artifacts) as well as differentiating barcodes on multiplexed samples. Iso-Seq 3 achieves the same output performance in high-quality transcript sequences compared to previous versions while reducing the runtime and memory usage dramatically.

July 19, 2019  |  

Standardization and quality management in next-generation sequencing

DNA sequencing continues to evolve quickly even after > 30 years. Many new platforms suddenly appeared and former established systems have vanished in almost the same manner. Since establishment of next-generation sequencing devices, this progress gains momentum due to the continually growing demand for higher throughput, lower costs and better quality of data. In consequence of this rapid development, standardized procedures and data formats as well as comprehensive quality management considerations are still scarce. Here, we listed and summarized current standardization efforts and quality management initiatives from companies, organizations and societies in form of published studies and ongoing projects. These comprise on the one hand quality documentation issues like technical notes, accreditation checklists and guidelines for validation of sequencing workflows. On the other hand, general standard proposals and quality metrics are developed and applied to the sequencing workflow steps with the main focus on upstream processes. Finally, certain standard developments for downstream pipeline data handling, processing and storage are discussed in brief. These standardization approaches represent a first basis for continuing work in order to prospectively implement next-generation sequencing in important areas such as clinical diagnostics, where reliable results and fast processing is crucial. Additionally, these efforts will exert a decisive influence on traceability and reproducibility of sequence data.

July 7, 2019  |  

Rapid and affordable size-selected PacBio single-molecule real-time sequencing template library construction using the bead-beating DNA extraction method

This study demonstrated that bead-beating method facilitates a simple and rapid protocol for genomic DNA isolation for Pacific BioSciences (PacBio) sequencing with library construction of sufficient length. The protocol may also be beneficial for inactivating pathogens by simultaneous and instant DNA fragmentation, with no special equipment required to obtain large DNA fragments. This protocol was comparable in terms of quality to the standard protocol suggested by PacBioand represents an alternative, rapid shortcut for performing accurate PacBio sequencing.

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