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SMRT Sequencing for Industrial Biotech Applications

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A feature
article
in the December 2012 issue of Industrial
Biotechnology
reports on various case studies where scientists have used the
unique capabilities of SMRT®
Sequencing to make discoveries in applied biotechnology areas. The long read lengths,
high consensus accuracy, lack of sequence bias, and sensitivity to chemical
base modifications make SMRT sequencing a good fit for a range of industrial
applications, including applied microbiology, agricultural biotechnology,
enzyme research and design, pathogen research and detection, biofuels development, and many others.


 In an example highlighting the return to the gold
standard of high-quality, finished genomes, scientists from the Korea Polar
Research Institute used SMRT sequencing to determine the genome of a bacterial
strain found in Cladonia borealis,
the dominant species of lichens found in Antarctica. Understanding these
organisms and their adaptation to the polar environment could help in a range of industries, including enzyme
engineering.

Another interesting recent example is described where
Nobel laureate Rich Roberts used the unique kinetic information associated with
SMRT Sequencing to determine the complete epigenomes of six bacterial species.
Among them were several species of industrial interest, such as Geobacter metallireducens, a bacterium
capable of reducing iron, manganese, uranium and other metals and thus an
interesting target for bioremediation of groundwater contaminants.
As we recently highlighted, the 100K
Foodborne Pathogen Genome Project
is another example in which SMRT
Sequencing is applied to generate high-quality genomes and epigenomes. In areas
where it is important to identify and characterize sources of contamination, including
food testing and pharmaceutical QA/QC to name just a few, we expect to see an
increased number of examples where the benefits of SMRT Sequencing are being
leveraged in applied markets such as industrial biotechnology.
The article is available at Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

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