Nature Methods names ‘long-read sequencing’ as its method of 2022 and showcases Oxford Nanopore’s any read length capabilities, from short to ultra-long

Nature Methods has announced its method of the year 2022 as long-read sequencing and said it “powers a more complete reading of genomic information”. Using nanopore technology, it’s possible to sequence short to ultra-long fragments of DNA as the technology is designed to enable a user to sequence whatever DNA fragment length they present to the pore.

  • The Nature Methods paper can be accessed in full here

  • Nature Methods’ technology feature can be accessed in full here

  • A summary of the paper can be found on our twitter here

  • Nature Methods table of contents is here

  • The ‘Conversations with Scientists’ podcast interview with Gordon Sanghera is here

With long nanopore sequencing reads (reads in excess of 4 Mb have been demonstrated) it is possible to generate and complete highly accurate microbial, human, animal, and plant genome assemblies. In March 2022 a group of researchers, who make up the Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) Consortium published the first truly complete 3.055 billion base pair sequence of a human genome and this was largely made possible by long-read sequencing. Nature Methods discusses this work but highlights that this is just one example of a large range of discoveries that long-read sequencing has enabled and showcases the “momentous methodological advancement and broad application”.

In the Nature Methods Technology Feature the power of long reads and rapid insights is celebrated. It goes on to say accessibility is increasingly important as both cost and accuracy are vital considerations and how Oxford Nanopore “values low-cost access to DNA and RNA data through sequencing” with some of the smaller devices able to “easily accompany scientists into the field”.

However, Oxford Nanopore Technology is not only a long-read technology; during 2022 developments in software have also enabled nanopore technology to “unlock” the ability to sequence the shortest of DNA fragments, down to 20 bases in length. Having already demonstrated sequencing reads greater than four megabases in length, nanopore sequencing is the only technology on the market capable of sequencing DNA lengths spanning five orders of magnitude in a single technology. From the single-use Flongle to the high-throughput PromethION, SFM is available at the scale required for users to answer their most crucial biological questions. Short Fragment Mode applications are here.