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PacBio sequencing technology overview

PacBio offers three highly differentiated core technologies focused on accuracy, quality, and completeness:

HiFi sequencing

Single-molecule sequencing provides a combination of read lengths up to 25 kb, remarkable read accuracy of 99.9%, and 5-base sequencing (A, T, G, C + 5mC)

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Sequencing by Binding (SBB)

Innovative sequencing approach brings Q40+ base quality to a short-read sequencer — discover ultra-rare variants without compromises

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Sample extraction technology protects DNA from shearing to generate longer fragments with less damage across a broader range of sample types than other technologies

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Long-read sequencing

HiFi sequencing

HiFi sequencing is recognized as a highly accurate and more complete sequencing technology:

  • PacBio HiFi offers 21× fewer errors vs Oxford Nanopore, >6× fewer errors vs Illumina in PrecisionFDA benchmarking of total errors (SNV + indel + SV)
  • Read lengths up to 25 kb allow you to span large structural variants and challenging repetitive regions, and to sequence full-length transcripts
  • High accuracy provides 99.99% accurate sequencing results
  • Uniform coverage enables sequencing through regions that are inaccessible to other technologies
  • Epigenetics can be explored through direct detection of base modifications during sequencing

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As the main finding, the authors in a new preprint entitled Utility of long-read sequencing for All of Us state that “HiFi reads produced the most accurate results for both small and large variants” and conclude that “long reads have widespread value for establishing the most complete and accurate variant calls for All of Us and potentially for many other projects.”


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Short-read sequencing

Sequencing by binding (SBB)

Game-changing sequencing by binding (SBB) chemistry on the Onso system surpasses traditional sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology. With near-perfect accuracy boasting 90% of bases at ≥Q40+, 15× higher accuracy, low duplication, negligible index hopping, and the ability to conquer challenging regions, SBB is redefining the landscape of short-read sequencing for research and translational applications.

PacBio has entered into an agreement to acquire Apton Biosystems, Inc. (Apton). As a combined organization, PacBio plans to integrate sequencing by binding (SBB) short-read chemistry into Apton’s high throughput short-read sequencer to enable the sequencing of billions of clusters of DNA on one flow cell. Stay tuned for updates.

Sample prep

Nanobind HMW DNA extraction

NANOBIND sample extraction technology for high quality DNA that delivers longer fragments with less damage across a broader range of sample types than other technologies

  • Cultured cells and bacteria
  • Blood
  • Plants
  • Tissues
  • Developmental sample types include insects, fungal, and worm

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A new paradigm: HiFi reads for highly accurate long-read sequencing

HiFi reads provide important benefits for key application areas including more comprehensive variant detection, de novo assembly, epigenomics, metagenomics, and transcriptomics.

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Our technologies fuel our innovative products, including:

  • Revio sequencing system
  • Onso sequencing system
  • Nanobind extraction kits

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Data analysis

The SMRT Link software suite is designed for use with HiFi sequencing data. Analyze, visualize, and manage your data through an intuitive GUI or command-line interface with an extensive set of APIs.

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Sequencing methods

PacBio sequencing technology enables extraordinary resolution of genomes, transcriptomes, epigenomes, and targeted panels.

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If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.