November 12, 2021  |  

Comparison of third-generation sequencing approaches to identify viral pathogens under public health emergency conditions

The capability of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) for detection of known and unknown viruses timely makes it a powerful tool for public health emergency response. Third-generation sequencing (TGS) offers advantages in speed and length of detection over second-generation sequencing (SGS). Here, we presented the end-to-end workflows for both Oxford Nanopore MinION and Pacbio Sequel on a viral disease emergency event, along with Ion Torrent PGM as a reference. A specific pipeline for comparative analysis on viral genomes recovered by each platform was assembled, given the high errors of base-calling for TGS platforms. All the three platforms successfully identified and recovered at least 85% Norovirus GII genomes. Oxford Nanopore MinION spent the least sample-to-answer turnaround time with relatively low but enough accuracy for taxonomy classification. Pacbio Sequel recovered the most accurate viral genome, while spending the longest time. Overall, Nanopore metagenomics can rapidly characterize viruses, and Pacbio Sequel can accurately recover viruses. This study provides a framework for designing the appropriate experiments that are likely to lead to accurate and rapid virus emergency response.


October 29, 2021  |  

Resolving Complex Pathogenic Alleles using HiFi Long-Range Amplicon Data and a New Clustering Algorithm

Many genetic diseases are mapped to structurally complex loci. These regions contain highly similar paralogous alleles (>99% identity) that span kilobases within the human genome. Comprehensive screening for pathogenic variants is incomplete and labor intensive using short-reads or optical mapping. In contrast, long-range amplification and PacBio HiFi sequencing fully and directly resolve and phase a wide range of pathogenic variants without inference. To capitalize on the accuracy of HiFi data we designed a new amplicon analysis tool, pbAA. pbAA can rapidly deconvolve a mixture of haplotypes, enabling precise diplotyping, and disease allele classification. 


September 7, 2021  |  

Resolving Complex Pathogenic Alleles using HiFi Long-Range Amplicon Data and a New Clustering Algorithm

Many genetic diseases are mapped to structurally complex loci. These regions contain highly similar paralogous alleles (>99% identity) that span kilobases within the human genome. Comprehensive screening for pathogenic variants is incomplete and labor intensive using short-reads or optical mapping. In contrast, long-range amplification and PacBio HiFi sequencing fully and directly resolve and phase a wide range of pathogenic variants without inference. To capitalize on the accuracy of HiFi data we designed a new amplicon analysis tool, pbAA. pbAA can rapidly deconvolve a mixture of haplotypes, enabling precise diplotyping, and disease allele classification. 


August 19, 2021  |  Infectious disease research

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 microscopic world.


August 19, 2021  |  

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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