Long-read sequencing in deciphering human genetics to a greater depth
Date: 19th September 2019 | Source: Human Genetics
Through four decades’ development, DNA sequencing has inched into the era of single-molecule sequencing (SMS), or the third-generation sequencing (TGS), as represented by two distinct technical approaches developed independently by Pacific Bioscience (PacBio) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT). Historically, each generation of sequencing technologies was marked by innovative technological achievements and novel applications. Long reads (LRs) are considered as the most advantageous feature of SMS shared by both PacBio and ONT to distinguish SMS from next-generation sequencing (NGS, or the second-generation sequencing) and Sanger sequencing (the first-generation sequencing). Long reads overcome the limitations of NGS and drastically improve the quality of genome assembly. Besides, ONT also contributes several unique features, including ultra-long reads (ULRs) with read length above 300 kb and some close to 1 million bp, direct RNA sequencing, and superior portability as made possible by pocket-sized MinION sequencer. Here, we review the history of DNA sequencing technologies and associated applications, with a special focus on the advantages as well as the limitations of ULR sequencing in genome assembly.