Rapid, multiplexed, whole genome and plasmid sequencing of foodborne pathogens using long-read nanopore technology
22nd February 2019 - BioRxiv
United States public health agencies are focusing on next-generation sequencing (NGS) to quickly identify and characterize foodborne pathogens. Here, the MinION nanopore, long-read sequencer was used to simultaneously sequence the entire chromosome and plasmids of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Bareilly and Escherichia coli O157:H7. A rapid, random sequencing approach, coupled with de novo genome assembly within a customized data analysis workflow, that can resolve highly-repetitive genomic regions, was developed. In sequencing runs, as short as four hours, using nanopore data alone, full-length genomes were obtained with an average identity of 99.87% for Salmonella Bareilly and 99.89% for E. coli in comparison to the respective MiSeq references. These long-read assemblies provided information on serotype, virulence factors, and antimicrobial resistance genes. Using a custom-developed, SNP-selection workflow, the potential of the nanopore-only assemblies (after only 30 minutes of sequencing) for rapid phylogenetic inference, with identical topology compared to the published dataset, was demonstrated. To achieve maximum quality assemblies, the developed bioinformatics workflow employed additional polishing steps to correct the systematic errors produced by the nanopore-only assemblies. Nanopore sequencing provided a shorter (10 hours library preparation and sequencing) turnaround time compared to other NGS technologies.