April 2, 2014  |  General

FDA-Supported Pathogen Database to Expand with SMRT Sequencing

We’re delighted to report that Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing will be a crucial technology in a new research program conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The Institute for Genome Sciences at the university’s medical school was awarded a contract from the FDA to sequence bacterial pathogens and contribute annotated assemblies to a database accessible through NCBI. Sequencing efforts will be performed by the Genomics Resource Center (GRC) at the institute.

The goal of the program is to help develop a reliable database containing the genome sequences of pathogens and other microbes, providing users a comprehensive source for microbial identification. The data will also be useful for sequencing-based diagnostics aiming to identify pathogens in vitro.

The GRC is a natural fit for the program, having sequenced more than 5,000 microbial genomes in the last five years. For more on GRC’s great track record of genome sequencing, check out our profile of the core facility.

“This database will be an important reference for the scientific and medical diagnostic communities,” stated Claire Fraser, Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences. “We have worked with federal agencies and global scientific partners to sequence and analyze an extensive population of bacterial pathogens since our Institute launched in 2007 and are pleased to develop this reference database with the FDA.”

PacBio will be showcasing our rapid, affordable pipeline for de novo microbial genome sequence and assembly at the upcoming American Society for Microbiology annual conference in May — stop by and see us in booth #1034.

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