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February 19, 2019

Product Note: Fast, high-resolution DNA sizing with the Agilent Femto Pulse system

The Agilent Femto Pulse system automated pulsed-field CE instrument is a fast, high-resolution benchtop capillary electrophoresis (CE) platform that utilizes pulsed-field electrophoresis to separate high molecular weight DNA fragments. This platform allows important DNA quality checkpoints to be completed in less than 1.5 hours with minimal sample input for de novo large genome sequencing projects and other PacBio applications leveraging multi-kilobase read lengths. The instrument can be used in place of gel-based pulsed-field electrophoresis (PFGE) systems to fully support generation of large-insert SMRTbell libraries with accurate sizing to 165 kb. Alternative DNA sizing instruments cannot accurately resolve large DNA fragments…

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January 14, 2019

Single molecule high-fidelity (HiFi) Sequencing with >10 kb libraries

Recent improvements in sequencing chemistry and instrument performance combine to create a new PacBio data type, Single Molecule High-Fidelity reads (HiFi reads). Increased read length and improvement in library construction enables average read lengths of 10-20 kb with average sequence identity greater than 99% from raw single molecule reads. The resulting reads have the accuracy comparable to short read NGS but with 50-100 times longer read length. Here we benchmark the performance of this data type by sequencing and genotyping the Genome in a Bottle (GIAB) HG0002 human reference sample from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). We…

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January 13, 2019

Highly-accurate long-read sequencing improves variant detection and assembly of a human genome

The major DNA sequencing technologies in use today produce either highly-accurate short reads or noisy long reads. We developed a protocol based on single-molecule, circular consensus sequencing (CCS) to generate highly-accurate (99.8%) long reads averaging 13.5 kb and applied it to sequence the well-characterized human HG002/NA24385. We optimized existing tools to comprehensively detect variants, achieving precision and recall above 99.91% for SNVs, 95.98% for indels, and 95.99% for structural variants. We estimate that 2,434 discordances are correctable mistakes in the high-quality Genome in a Bottle benchmark. Nearly all (99.64%) variants are phased into haplotypes, which further improves variant detection. De…

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October 16, 2018

FALCON-Phase integrates PacBio and HiC data for de novo assembly, scaffolding and phasing of a diploid Puerto Rican genome (HG00733)

Haplotype-resolved genomes are important for understanding how combinations of variants impact phenotypes. The study of disease, quantitative traits, forensics, and organ donor matching are aided by phased genomes. Phase is commonly resolved using familial data, population-based imputation, or by isolating and sequencing single haplotypes using fosmids, BACs, or haploid tissues. Because these methods can be prohibitively expensive, or samples may not be available, alternative approaches are required. de novo genome assembly with PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) data produces highly contiguous, accurate assemblies. For non-inbred samples, including humans, the separate resolution of haplotypes results in higher base accuracy and more…

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October 4, 2018

Application Brief: Targeted sequencing for amplicons – Best Practices

With Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing and the Sequel System, you can easily and cost effectively generate high-fidelity, long reads (>99% single-molecule read accuracy) from genes or regions of interest ranging in size from several hundred base pairs to 20 kb. Target all types of variation across relevant genomic regions, including low complexity regions like repeat expansions, promoters, and flanking regions of transposable elements.

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July 16, 2018

Repair of double-strand breaks induced by CRISPR-Cas9 leads to large deletions and complex rearrangements.

CRISPR-Cas9 is poised to become the gene editing tool of choice in clinical contexts. Thus far, exploration of Cas9-induced genetic alterations has been limited to the immediate vicinity of the target site and distal off-target sequences, leading to the conclusion that CRISPR-Cas9 was reasonably specific. Here we report significant on-target mutagenesis, such as large deletions and more complex genomic rearrangements at the targeted sites in mouse embryonic stem cells, mouse hematopoietic progenitors and a human differentiated cell line. Using long-read sequencing and long-range PCR genotyping, we show that DNA breaks introduced by single-guide RNA/Cas9 frequently resolved into deletions extending over…

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June 13, 2018

De Novo Assembly Brochure: Assembly options for your SMRT Sequencing data

It is now easier and more affordable than ever to do a genome project with PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing—the gold standard for generating contiguous, highly accurate reference genomes. Assembly is no longer a challenge with the wealth of bioinformatics tools developed and optimized for SMRT Sequencing data, enabling you to generate high-quality genome assemblies on any budget.

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June 1, 2018

Accurate detection of complex structural variations using single-molecule sequencing.

Structural variations are the greatest source of genetic variation, but they remain poorly understood because of technological limitations. Single-molecule long-read sequencing has the potential to dramatically advance the field, although high error rates are a challenge with existing methods. Addressing this need, we introduce open-source methods for long-read alignment (NGMLR; https://github.com/philres/ngmlr ) and structural variant identification (Sniffles; https://github.com/fritzsedlazeck/Sniffles ) that provide unprecedented sensitivity and precision for variant detection, even in repeat-rich regions and for complex nested events that can have substantial effects on human health. In several long-read datasets, including healthy and cancerous human genomes, we discovered thousands of novel…

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June 1, 2018

High-resolution comparative analysis of great ape genomes.

Genetic studies of human evolution require high-quality contiguous ape genome assemblies that are not guided by the human reference. We coupled long-read sequence assembly and full-length complementary DNA sequencing with a multiplatform scaffolding approach to produce ab initio chimpanzee and orangutan genome assemblies. By comparing these with two long-read de novo human genome assemblies and a gorilla genome assembly, we characterized lineage-specific and shared great ape genetic variation ranging from single- to mega-base pair-sized variants. We identified ~17,000 fixed human-specific structural variants identifying genic and putative regulatory changes that have emerged in humans since divergence from nonhuman apes. Interestingly, these…

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June 1, 2018

High-quality genome assemblies reveal long non-coding RNAs expressed in ant brains.

Ants are an emerging model system for neuroepigenetics, as embryos with virtually identical genomes develop into different adult castes that display diverse physiology, morphology, and behavior. Although a number of ant genomes have been sequenced to date, their draft quality is an obstacle to sophisticated analyses of epigenetic gene regulation. We reassembled de novo high-quality genomes for two ant species, Camponotus floridanus and Harpegnathos saltator. Using long reads enabled us to span large repetitive regions and improve genome contiguity, leading to comprehensive and accurate protein-coding annotations that facilitated the identification of a Gp-9-like gene as differentially expressed in Harpegnathos castes.…

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May 29, 2018

Webinar: Assembling high-quality human reference genomes for global populations

This webinar highlights global initiatives currently underway to use Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing to de novo assemble genomes of individuals representing multiple ethnic populations, thereby extending the diversity of available human reference genomes. In their presentations, Tina Graves-Lindsay from Washington University and Adam Ameur from Uppsala University spoke about diploid assemblies, discovering novel sequence and improving diversity of the current human reference genome. Finally, Paul Peluso of PacBio presented data from the recent effort to sequence a Puerto Rican genome and shared a SMRT Sequencing technology roadmap showing the next several upgrades for the Sequel System.

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March 29, 2018

Piercing the dark matter: bioinformatics of long-range sequencing and mapping.

Several new genomics technologies have become available that offer long-read sequencing or long-range mapping with higher throughput and higher resolution analysis than ever before. These long-range technologies are rapidly advancing the field with improved reference genomes, more comprehensive variant identification and more complete views of transcriptomes and epigenomes. However, they also require new bioinformatics approaches to take full advantage of their unique characteristics while overcoming their complex errors and modalities. Here, we discuss several of the most important applications of the new technologies, focusing on both the currently available bioinformatics tools and opportunities for future research.

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February 12, 2018

Mitochondrial DNA sequencing using PacBio SMRT technology

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a compact, double-stranded circular genome of 16,569 bp with a cytosine-rich light (L) chain and a guanine-rich heavy (H) chain. mtDNA mutations have been increasingly recognized as important contributors to an array of human diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal cancer and Kearns–Sayre syndrome. mtDNA mutations can affect all of the 1000-10,000 copies of the mitochondrial genome present in a cell (homoplasmic mutation) or only a subset of copies (heteroplasmic mutation). The ratio of normal to mutant mtDNAs within cells is a significant factor in whether mutations will result in disease, as well as…

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