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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Allele-level sequencing and phasing of full-length HLA class I and II genes using SMRT Sequencing technology

The three classes of genes that comprise the MHC gene family are actively involved in determining donor-recipient compatibility for organ transplant, as well as susceptibility to autoimmune diseases via cross-reacting immunization. Specifically, Class I genes HLA-A, -B, -C, and class II genes HLA-DR, -DQ and -DP are considered medically important for genetic analysis to determine histocompatibility. They are highly polymorphic and have thousands of alleles implicated in disease resistance and susceptibility. The importance of full-length HLA gene sequencing for genotyping, detection of null alleles, and phasing is now widely acknowledged. While DNA-sequencing-based HLA genotyping has become routine, only 7% of…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

HLA sequencing using SMRT Technology – High resolution and high throughput HLA genotyping in a clinical setting

Sequence based typing (SBT) is considered the gold standard method for HLA typing. Current SBT methods are rather laborious and are prone to phase ambiguity problems and genotyping uncertainties. As a result, the NGS community is rapidly seeking to remedy these challenges, to produce high resolution and high throughput HLA sequencing conducive to a clinical setting. Today, second generation NGS technologies are limited in their ability to yield full length HLA sequences required for adequate phasing and identification of novel alleles. Here we present the use of single molecule real time (SMRT) sequencing as a means of determining full length/long…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Full-length sequencing of HLA class I genes of more than 1000 samples provides deep insights into sequence variability

Aim: The vast majority of donor typing relies on sequencing exons 2 and 3 of HLA class I genes (HLA-A, -B, -C). With such an approach certain allele combinations do not result in the anticipated “high resolution” (G-code) typing, due to the lack of exon-phasing information. To resolve ambiguous typing results for a haplotype frequency project, we established a whole gene sequencing approach for HLA class I, facilitating also an estimation of the degree of sequence variability outside the commonly sequenced exons. Methods: Primers were developed flanking the UTR regions resulting in similar amplicon lengths of 4.2-4.4 kb. Using a…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Phased full-length SMRT Sequencing of HLA DPB1

Aim: In contrast to exon-based HLA-typing approaches, whole gene genotyping crucially depends on full-length sequences submitted to the IMGT/HLA Database. Currently, full-length sequences are provided for only 7 out of 520 HLA-DPB1 alleles. Therefore, we developed a fully phased whole-gene sequencing approach for DPB1, to facilitate further exploration of the allelic structure at this locus. Methods: Primers were developed flanking the UTR-regions of DPB1 resulting in a 12 kb amplicon. Using a 4-primer approach, secondary primers containing barcodes were combined with the gene-specific primers to obtain barcoded full-gene amplicons in a single amplification step. Amplicons were pooled, purified, and ligated…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

HLA variant identification techniques

The Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genes located on chromosome 6 are responsible for regulating immune function via antigen presentation and are one of the determining factors for stem cell and organ transplantation compatibility. Additionally various alleles within this region have been implicated in autoimmune disorders, cancer, vaccine response and both non-infectious and infectious disease risk. The HLA region is highly variable; containing repetitive regions; and co-dominantly expressed genes. This complicates short read mapping and means that assessing the effect of variation within a gene requires full phase information to resolve haplotypes.One solution to the problem of HLA identification is the…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The MHC Diversity in Africa Project (MDAP) pilot – 125 African high resolution HLA types from 5 populations

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC), or human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in humans, is a highly diverse gene family with a key role in immune response to disease; and has been implicated in auto-immune disease, cancer, infectious disease susceptibility, and vaccine response. It has clinical importance in the field of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation, where donors and recipient matching of HLA types is key to transplanted organ outcomes. The Sanger based typing (SBT) methods currently used in clinical practice do not capture the full diversity across this region, and require specific reference sequences to deconvolute ambiguity in HLA types.…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

High-throughput SMRT Sequencing of clinically relevant targets

Targeted sequencing with Sanger as well as short read based high throughput sequencing methods is standard practice in clinical genetic testing. However, many applications beyond SNP detection have remained somewhat obstructed due to technological challenges. With the advent of long reads and high consensus accuracy, SMRT Sequencing overcomes many of the technical hurdles faced by Sanger and NGS approaches, opening a broad range of untapped clinical sequencing opportunities. Flexible multiplexing options, highly adaptable sample preparation method and newly improved two well-developed analysis methods that generate highly-accurate sequencing results, make SMRT Sequencing an adept method for clinical grade targeted sequencing. The…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

ASHG Virtual Poster: The MHC Diversity in Africa Project (MDAP) pilot – 125 African high resolution HLA types from 5 populations

In this ASHG 2016 poster video, Martin Pollard from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge describes an ambitious project to better represent natural variation in the complex MHC region by sequencing the locus in thousands of people from various populations in Africa. A pilot project in five populations has already revealed a lot of diversity in the region, which is important for human disease, vaccine response, and organ transplantation. Pollard says SMRT Sequencing is the only technology that can deliver the full-length haplotypes necessary to identify complete variation in this highly polymorphic complex. Plus: plans to…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: PacBio targeted sequencing of long amplicons using PCR or hybrid capture

Targeted sequencing experiments commonly rely on either PCR or hybrid capture to enrich for targets of interest. When using short read sequencing platforms, these amplicons or fragments are frequently targeted to a few hundred base pairs to accommodate the read lengths of the platform. Given PacBio’s long readlength, it is straightforward to sequence amplicons or captured fragments that are multiple kilobases in length. These long sequences are useful for easily visualizing variants that include SNPs, CNVs and other structural variants, often without assembly. We will review methods for the sequencing of long amplicons and provide examples using amplicons that range…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

ASHG PacBio Workshop: Amplicon SMRT Sequencing applications in human genetics

In this ASHG workshop presentation, Stuart Scott of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented on using the PacBio system for amplicon sequencing in pharmacogenomics and clinical genomics workflows. Accurate, phased amplicon sequence for the CYP2D6 gene, for example, has allowed his team to reclassify up to 20% of samples, providing data that’s critical for drug metabolism and dosing. In clinical genomics, Scott presented several case studies illustrating the utility of highly accurate, long-read sequencing for assessing copy number variants and for confirming a suspected medical diagnosis in rare disease patients. He noted that the latest Sequel System…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Amplicon sequencing with confidence – High-fidelity, long-read PacBio sequencing solutions

In this webinar, Lori Aro and Cheryl Heiner of PacBio describe how high-throughput amplicon sequencing using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing and the Sequel System allows for the easy and cost-effective generation of high-fidelity, long reads from amplicons ranging in size from several hundred base pairs to 20 kb. Topics covered include the latest advances in SMRT Sequencing performance for detection of all variant types even in difficult to sequence regions of the genome, multiplexing options to increase throughput and improve efficiency, and examples of amplicon sequencing of clinically relevant targets.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Understanding SARS-CoV-2 and host immune response to COVID-19 with PacBio sequencing

Studying microbial genomics and infectious disease? Learn how the PacBio Sequel II System can help advance your research, with first-hand perspectives from scientists who are investigating SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. In this webinar, Melissa Laird-Smith (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine) discusses her work evaluating the impact of host immune restriction in health and disease with high resolution HLA typing. She is joined by Corey Watson (University of Louisville School of Medicine) who talks about overcoming complexity to elucidate the role of IGH haplotype diversity in antibody-mediated immunity. Hosted by Meredith Ashby, Director of Microbial Genomics at PacBio. Access additional PacBio resources…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: SMRT Sequencing applications for human genomics and medicine

In this webinar, Adam Ameur of SciLifeLab at Uppsala University shares how he uses Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing applications for medical diagnostics and human genetics research, including sequencing of single genes and de novo assembly of human genomes as well as a new method for detection of CRISPR-Cas9 off-targets.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

ASHG PacBio Workshop: Latest product and application updates

In this ASHG 2020 PacBio Workshop Jonas Korlach, CSO, shares how the new PacBio Sequel IIe System makes highly accurate long-read sequencing easy and affordable so?all scientists can gain comprehensive views of human genomes and transcriptomes. He goes on to provide updates on the applications including human WGS for variant detection, de novo genome assembly, single-cell full-length RNA sequencing, and targeted sequencing using PCR and No-Amp methods.

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