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June 20, 2019

Comparison of sequencing approaches applied to complex soil metagenomes to resolve proteins of interest

Background: Long-read sequencing presents several potential advantages for providing more complete gene profiling of metagenomic samples. Long reads can capture multiple genes in a single read, and longer reads typically result in assemblies with better contiguity, especially for higher abundance organisms. However, a major challenge with using long reads has been the higher cost per base, which may lead to insufficient coverage of low-abundance species. Additionally, lower single-pass accuracy can make gene discovery for low-abundance organisms difficult. Methods: To evaluate the pros and cons of long reads for metagenomics, we directly compared PacBio and Illumina sequencing on a soil-derived sample,…

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June 20, 2019

Microbiome profiling at the strain level using rRNA amplicons

Strain level microbiome profiling is needed for a full understanding of how microbial communities influence human health. Microbiome profiling of rRNA gene amplicons is a well-understood method that is rapid and inexpensive, but standard 16S rRNA gene methods generally cannot differentiate closely related strains. Whole genome/shotgun microbiome profiling is considered a higher-resolution alternative, but with decreased throughput and significantly increased sequencing costs and analysis burden. With both methods there are also challenges with microbial lysis, DNA preparation, and taxonomic analysis. Specialized microbiome-focused protocols were developed to achieve strain-level taxonomic differentiation using a rapid, high throughput rRNA gene assay. The protocol…

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June 18, 2019

Webinar: Smoking out structural variants in the cannabis genome

In this webinar, Sarah Kingan, Staff Scientist, PacBio, and Kevin McKernan, Founder and Chief Science Officer, Medicinal Genomics, describe their work assembling the most comprehensive and complete cannabis genome of a Type II (THCA and CBDA producing) plant. They also share the latest advances in cannabis genomics, including how PacBio long-read sequencing enables high-quality genomics research in plants, annotation of the cannabis reference genome using full-length transcript sequencing, and new insights into cannabinoid synthesis across different types of cannabis plants.

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June 15, 2019

Comprehensive variant detection in a human genome with highly accurate long reads

Introduction: Long-read sequencing has been applied successfully to assemble genomes and detect structural variants. However, due to high raw-read error rates (10-15%), it has remained difficult to call small variants from long reads. Recent improvements in library preparation and sequencing chemistry have increased length, accuracy, and throughput of PacBio circular consensus sequencing (CCS) reads, resulting in 10-20kb reads with average read quality above 99%. Materials and Methods: We sequenced a 12kb library from human reference sample HG002 to 18-fold coverage on the PacBio Sequel II System with three SMRT Cells 8M. The CCS algorithm was used to generate highly-accurate (average…

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June 5, 2019

Webinar: Sequence with Confidence – Introducing the Sequel II System

In this webinar, Jonas Korlach, Chief Scientific Officer, PacBio provides an overview of the features and the advantages of the new Sequel II System. Kiran Garimella, Senior Computational Scientist, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, describes his work sequencing humans with HiFi reads enabling discovery of structural variants undetectable in short reads. Luke Tallon, Scientific Director, Genomics Resource Center, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, covers the GRC’s work on bacterial multiplexing, 16S microbiome profiling, and shotgun metagenomics. Finally, Shane McCarthy, Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge, focuses on the scaling and affordability of high-quality…

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June 3, 2019

Structural variant detection in crops using low-fold coverage long-read sequencing

Genomics studies have shown that the insertions, deletions, duplications, translocations, inversions, and tandem repeat expansions in the structural variant (SV) size range (>50 bp) contribute to the evolution of traits and often have significant associations with agronomically important phenotypes. However, most SVs are too small to detect with array comparative genomic hybridization and too large to reliably discover with short-read DNA sequencing. While de novo assembly is the most comprehensive way to identify variants in a genome, recent studies in human genomes show that PacBio SMRT Sequencing sensitively detects structural variants at low coverage. Here we present SV characterization in…

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June 3, 2019

Application Brochure: Explore metagenomes in high resolution

The ability to identify and understand the functions of the complex microbial populations living in, on, and around us requires comprehensive characterization of each community member. Highly accurate long reads– HiFi reads–with single-molecule resolution make Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing ideal for full-length 16S rRNA sequencing, long-read metagenomic profiling, and shotgun metagenomic assembly.

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May 29, 2019

Case Study: Mining complex metagenomes for protein discovery with long-read sequencing

The bacteria living on and within us can impact health, disease, and even our behavior, but there is still much to learn about the breadth of their effects. The torrent of new discoveries unleashed by high-throughput sequencing has captured the imagination of scientists and the public alike. Scientists at Second Genome are hoping to apply these insights to improve human health, leveraging their bioinformatics expertise to mine bacterial communities for potential therapeutics. Recently they teamed up with scientists at PacBio to explore how long-read sequencing might supplement their short-read-based pipeline for gene discovery, using an environmental sample as a test…

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May 21, 2019

Infographic: A brief history of microbiology

Our understanding of microbiology has evolved enormously over the last 150 years. Few institutions have witnessed our collective progress more closely than the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC). In fact, the collection itself is a record of the many milestones microbiologists have crossed, building on the discoveries of those who came before. To date, 60% of NCTC’s historic collection now has a closed, finished reference genome, thanks to PacBio Single Molecule, Real- Time (SMRT) Sequencing. We are excited to be their partner in crossing this latest milestone on their quest to improve human and animal health by understanding the…

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May 20, 2019

Technical Note: Preparing libraries for PacBio whole genome sequencing for de novo assembly – Quality control and size selection

Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing uses the natural process of DNA replication to sequence long fragments of native DNA. As such, starting with high-quality, high molecular weight genomic DNA will result in longer libraries and better performance across difficult to sequence regions of the genome. This technical note is intended to give recommendations, tips and tricks for assessing and preserving the quality and size of your SMRTbell library, and size selection procedures for libraries intended to be used with whole genome sequencing for de novo assembly.

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May 20, 2019

Technical Note: Preparing DNA for PacBio whole genome sequencing for de novo assembly – Quality control and shearing

Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing uses the natural process of DNA replication to sequence long fragments of native DNA. As such, starting with high-quality, high molecular weight (HMW) genomic DNA (gDNA) will result in longer libraries and better performance across difficult to sequence regions of the genome. This technical note is intended to give recommendations, tips and tricks for assessing and preserving the quality and size of your gDNA sample, shearing methods, and size selection procedures for samples intended to be used with whole genome sequencing for de novo assembly.

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May 20, 2019

Case Study: Sequencing an historic bacterial collection for the future

The UK’s National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) is a unique collection of more than 5,000 expertly preserved and authenticated bacterial cultures, many of historical significance. Founded in 1920, NCTC is the longest established collection of its type anywhere in the world, with a history of its own that has reflected — and contributed to — the evolution of microbiology for more than 100 years.

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