Menlo Park, CA (September 13, 2018) - When creating a genomic ark of creatures great and small, scientists across the globe are turning to the comprehensive coverage and quality of long-read sequencing technology from Pacific Biosciences, the leading provider of high-quality sequencing of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes.
Today, the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP), an international consortium of more than 150 scientists from 50 academic, industry and government institutions in 12 countries, released the first 15 of an anticipated 66,000 high-quality reference genomes that will eventually include all vertebrate species on Earth. These new genomes are the most complete genomes created to date for these species, and roughly double the number of high-quality animal reference genomes with comparable levels of combined contiguity, completeness and accuracy in the public domain.
The VGP is one of many large-scale international projects that have chosen PacBio® Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to generate some of the most complete genomes to date for thousands of plant, animal, fungal and bacterial species. These comprehensive catalogs of genetic code provide valuable resources to researchers in their quest to understand the biology, physiology, development and evolution of a multitude of living organisms, and will aide in their conservation.
"We are honored to work with world-class researchers to generate high-quality genome references and support large-scale efforts such as the VGP," said Jonas Korlach, Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences. "We are looking forward to continuing our involvement in projects like these to benefit science, society and the environment."
Other major projects using or that recently used PacBio SMRT Sequencing include:
Researchers are using PacBio's advanced technology to create high-quality reference genomes, which become highly curated representations of the species for the community to which all individuals of that species are compared. The information provided by these detailed DNA analyses can help in the conservation of animal species and their habitats; it may also have implications for the human species.
Bats, for instance, are reservoirs for some of the deadliest viral diseases, including Ebola and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), but somehow they survive. Figuring out why could increase our understanding of immune function. Information gleaned from their genomes could also contribute to our understanding of human aging and boost agricultural productivity and ecosystem restoration, according to Sonja Vernes of the Max Planck Institute, a leader of the Bat1K initiative.
"The long-read sequencing technology from PacBio is allowing us to produce bat genomes of unprecedented quality and resolution as part of the Bat1K project," said Vernes. "This is going to be a big step forward for understanding how the genes and also the non-coding DNA in these genomes influence the weird and wonderful features of bats."
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PACB) offers sequencing systems to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, Pacific Biosciences' products enable: de novo genome assembly to finish genomes in order to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; full-length transcript analysis to improve annotations in reference genomes, characterize alternatively spliced isoforms in important gene families, and find novel genes; targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; and real-time kinetic information for epigenome characterization. Pacific Biosciences' technology provides high accuracy, ultra-long reads, uniform coverage, and the ability to simultaneously detect epigenetic changes. PacBio® sequencing systems, including consumables and software, provide a simple, fast, end-to-end workflow for SMRT Sequencing. More information is available at www.pacb.com.