Summary from 4th Next Generation Sequencing Congress 2012

Attending the 4th NGS Congress 2012 at London Heathrow I can give here some interesting new facts and information about latest NGS stories which are worth to be shared.

First of all let’s talk about “long read technology” – A Roche 454 talk has been given by Todd Arnold, Vice President R&D, Roche 454.  For Roche GS Junior a new software version 2.7, with  “improved well resolution results in better quality, more robust sequencing runs”  is now available.  As a matter of fact we can confirm these new data outputs while using on our own Junior platform with this update since a while.  Depending on your samples nature  a good part of all reads will be longer than 400 bp and up to 450-480 bp (still using the Titanium Chemistry). But the FLX+ technology is NOT available and also NOT planned for GS Junior – raising the question why,  no concret details or upgrade plans could be given for GS Junior at the London congress…

The real and major highlight about Roche 454 was the description of what we call now “FLX++” sequencing. A software update (2.8) being available now for all the GS FLX systems – together with  the “pimped chemsitry kits” – Roche 454 is offering real “1000bp” Sanger-like reads (as initially aimed at launch).  Some data outputs and slides were shown that demonstrate these new and longer read lengths and also higher data outputs (figure 1). All together that counts up to almost ~1Gb of sequencing data per full PPT run.

Fig 1: Todd Arnold Roche 454 Data Heathrow 2012

Being one of the early access users of the FLX++ upgrades and software version 2.8, we can in fact confirm that the new data outputs are excellent (again depending on the quality of DNA) – in fact one can reach even better results than shown by Roche at the 4th NGS congress in London Heathrow. Here is an example:

Fig 2: Eurofins MWG Operon data with Roche GS FLX++

Of course one may argue now – “that’s nothing compared to Illumina data outputs” – and you are right in terms of the pure data volumes! But the focus here is on long read applications like e.g. sequencing and de novo assembly. And for this kind of NGS application, a modal read length of 800-950 bp or above will tune the final data outputs treamendously. You won’t believe? We can share with you some nice new project data that we have delivered for a fungal de novo sequencing project (figure 2). We were able to deliver chromosome-size scaffolds of 8.3 Mb, 6.0 Mb, 4.3 Mb, 2.8 Mb, 2.4Mb, 2.1 Mb, … when using a long read FLX++ back-bone sequencing at  8x-12x only and combining this data with short read LJD sequencing on HiSeq at 2x 100 bp. The complete data set missed only about 0.5% of all genetic information, while remaining average gap lenght was about 240 bp.  We are actually very interested to learn how 2x 250 bp read length on MiSeq will further improve this excellent data results – one shot genome sequencing at it’s best.

Interested in this kind of project data? Please learn more about our fascinating de novo sequencing & assembly results at our next NGS roadshow in 2013 or send me an email for further discussion about this topic…

Axel Strittmatter

About Axel Strittmatter

Axel knows what counts in planing a NGS laboratory starting from scratch.

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