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Macrogen to Use PacBio Technology to Create Asian Genome References

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Macrogen will use Pacific Biosciences' PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time sequencing platform to create de novo human genome references for the Asian population, the companies announced today.

Existing human genome references used by biomedical researchers have been derived principally from Caucasian individuals, limiting their use for research into certain complex diseases that differ genetically between ethnic groups. Macrogen and others have characterized some of these differences, and with the PacBio RS II DNA Sequencing System, the South Korean sequencing services firm will generate high- quality ethnic genome references.

Macrogen said it will also use its two PacBio instruments to perform sequencing projects that cannot be done effectively with short-read sequencing technologies, including full-length transcript sequencing, high-quality de novo assemblies of plant, animal, and bacterial genomes, metagenome characterization, and the targeting of complex regions of the human genome, such as the major histocompatibility region, including full-length sequencing of HLA genes.

Macrogen Founder and Chairman Jeong-Sun Seo said in a statement that PacBio's technology has matured so that it can be used for human genome applications as it is the only technology that can "easily resolve complex regions and uncover genetic variations beyond single nucleotide polymorphisms. We also expect the PacBio RS II will strengthen our overall sequencing service portfolio and enable Macrogen to offer the widest spectrum of sequencing services."