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Institute for Genome Sciences, OpGen to Co-develop Microbial Sequence Database

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Maryland Institute for Genome Sciences and OpGen today announced they will co-develop a database of annotated microbial sequences.

OpGen will contribute optical maps and sequence finishing technology to the collaboration, while IGS will supply clinically characterized microbial samples and sequencing data from microbial genomic studies. They include samples and data from the National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project and the National Institutes of Health Genomic Sequencing Center for Infectious Diseases.

OpGen's Optical Mapping Technology elucidates a genome's architecture by creating high-resolution, ordered, whole-genome restriction maps from single DNA molecules. The Gaithersburg, Md., company launched its Argus Optical Mapping System a year ago.

Sequencing and sequencing databases are of increasing importance in microbiology research and clinical diagnostics, IGS and OpGen said in a joint statement. Though next-generation sequencing technologies have resulted in rapid and low-cost access to sequencing data, they do not provide a complete or accurate view of microbial genome architecture, they added.

"Inclusion of optical mapping for the characterization of genomes will raise the standard of high quality genome sequence data and will be of extraordinary value given the unprecedented amount of next generation sequencing of clinically relevant organisms," Claire Frasier-Liggett, director of IGS and professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a statement. "We are using this technology for validation of our de novo sequencing projects, and anticipate that these will serve as an extraordinary set of reference organism templates to be used by the large number of resequencing efforts worldwide."

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

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