NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Washington University School of Medicine’s Genome Sequencing Center plans to install five Genome Sequencer FLX systems and will participate in Roche Diagnostics’ early-access program for technology improvements for the platform, Roche said today.
Roche said that improvements to the 454 Life Sciences sequencing system will include an increase in sequence read length to "beyond 400 base pairs" from a current level of around 250 base pairs, and a "dramatic increase" in the number of sequencing reads per instrument run.
The St. Louis-based university's purchase of five additional GS FLX systems brings the total number of instruments it owns to eight.
The center predicts that between software and reagent upgrades, the current GS FLX will be able to generate in excess of 1 billion bases each day.
As part of the early-access program, researchers at the center plan to resequence several strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The center also intends to use the technology for projects studying the human microbiome, characterizing the microbial organisms and communities associated with the human body, and to augment its current work on tumor transcriptome analysis.
“We have been able to complete several projects with the GS FLX, demonstrating the system’s strengths,” Richard Wilson, director of the Genome Sequencing Center, said in a statement. “We now believe that with the new improvements and the increased throughout of the instrument, we will be able to complete several projects more quickly than originally anticipated and at a substantially lower cost.”