Researchers have discovered a simple method that can eliminate almost all sequencing errors generated by widely used portable DNA sequencers, which may enable scientists outside the laboratory to more effectively study and track microorganisms such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus .
By using special molecular tags, the team was able to reduce the error rate of Oxford Nanopore Technologies̵
Ryan Zils, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia and one of the lead authors of the study, said: “MinION has got rid of the limitations of large laboratories, and has freed DNA sequencing from the revolution in the field of genomics.” Natural method. “But until now, researchers have been unable to use the device in many settings due to the high error rate out of the box.”
The genome sequence can reveal a lot of information about an organism, including its identity, ancestry, strengths and vulnerabilities. Scientists can use this information to better understand the microorganisms living in specific environments and develop diagnostic tools and treatment methods. However, without an accurate portable DNA sequencer, key genetic details may be missed when conducting research in the field or in a smaller laboratory.
Therefore, Ziels and his collaborators at Aalborg University created a unique barcode system that can increase the accuracy of long-read DNA sequencing platforms such as MinION by more than 1,000 times. After marking the target molecules with these barcodes, the researchers proceeded as usual-using standard PCR techniques to amplify the labeled molecules or make multiple copies of them, and sequence the resulting DNA.
Researchers can then use barcodes to easily identify and group related DNA fragments in the sequencing data, resulting in a nearly perfect sequence from fragments that take 10 times longer than conventional techniques to process. Longer DNA extensions can even detect tiny genetic variations and analyze the genome with high resolution.
Ziels said: “The beauty of this method is that it is applicable to any target gene that can be amplified,” Ziels’ team has developed codes and protocols for processing sequencing data through an open source repository. “This means it is very useful in any field where high-precision and remote genomic information are combined, such as cancer research, plant research, human genetics and microbiome science.”
Ziels is currently working with the Greater Vancouver area to develop an extended version of this method, which allows near real-time detection of microorganisms in water and wastewater. Ziels said that as long as they accurately understand the microorganisms present in their water supply systems, communities can improve their public health strategies and treatment techniques, and better control the spread of harmful microorganisms such as SARS-CoV-2.
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Søren M. Karst et al., using high-precision long-read amplicon sequences with unique molecular identifiers for nanopore or PacBio sequencing, Natural method (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41592-020-01041-y
Provided by the University of British Columbia
Citation: The new method can help the pocket-sized DNA sequencer obtain near-perfect accuracy (January 12, 2021). The method will be available from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-method on January 13, 2021 -pocket-sized-dna-sequencer-near search-perfect.html
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