April 21, 2020  |  

The bioinformatics tools for the genome assembly and analysis based on third-generation sequencing.

The application of third-generation sequencing (TGS) technology in genetics and genomics have provided opportunities to categorize and explore the individual genomic landscapes and mutations relevant for diagnosis and therapy using whole genome sequencing and de novo genome assembly. In general, the emerging TGS technology can produce high quality long reads for the determination of overlapping reads and transcript isoforms. However, this technology still faces challenges such as the accuracy for the identification of nucleotide bases and high error rates. Here, we surveyed 39 TGS-related tools for de novo assembly and genome analysis to identify the differences among their characteristics, such as the required input, the interaction with the user, sequencing platforms, type of reads, error models, the possibility of introducing coverage bias, the simulation of genomic variants and outputs provided. The decision trees are summarized to help researchers to find out the most suitable tools to analyze the TGS data. Our comprehensive survey and evaluation of computational features of existing methods for TGS may provide a valuable guideline for researchers. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

April 21, 2020  |  

Long-Read Sequencing Emerging in Medical Genetics

The wide implementation of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has revolutionized the field of medical genetics. However, the short read lengths of currently used sequencing approaches pose a limitation for identification of structural variants, sequencing repetitive regions, phasing alleles and distinguishing highly homologous genomic regions. These limitations may significantly contribute to the diagnostic gap in patients with genetic disorders who have undergone standard NGS, like whole exome or even genome sequencing. Now, the emerging long-read sequencing (LRS) technologies may offer improvements in the characterization of genetic variation and regions that are difficult to assess with the currently prevailing NGS approaches. LRS has so far mainly been used to investigate genetic disorders with previously known or strongly suspected disease loci. While these targeted approaches already show the potential of LRS, it remains to be seen whether LRS technologies can soon enable true whole genome sequencing routinely. Ultimately, this could allow the de novo assembly of individual whole genomes used as a generic test for genetic disorders. In this article, we summarize the current LRS-based research on human genetic disorders and discuss the potential of these technologies to facilitate the next major advancements in medical genetics.

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