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New Illumina Kits will Streamline Workflow, Lower DNA Input, Increase Multiplexing

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This article, originally published June 28, has been updated to correct the total workflow time with a new Nextera kit - it will be 2.5 days, not 2.5 hours.

Illumina plans to introduce a number of new sample preparation kits for its sequencing platforms that will streamline the workflow, lower the amount of input DNA and increase the number of samples and amplicons that can be processed in parallel.

At a company workshop during the European Society of Human Genetics meeting in Nuremberg this week, senior marketing manager Jeremy Preston discussed some of the upcoming new products, for which no exact launch dates are available yet.

In May, Illumina launched the Nextera XT DNA Sample Preparation kit, which allows users to prepare sequencing libraries for small genomes, amplicons, or plasmids in less than 90 minutes, including 15 minutes of hands-on time.

The Nextera technology, which Illumina acquired when it bought Epicentre Biotechnologies last year (IS 1/18/2011), simultaneously fragments DNA and tags it with sequencing adapters in a single-tube transposase "tagmentation" reaction. It also includes bead-based sample normalization, which replaces the library quantification step.

Preston said that in the near future, Illumina plans to introduce Nextera exome and custom enrichment kits that will have an ultra-low DNA input of 50 nanograms. Using these kits, total workflow time will be less than 2.5 days, and library prep time less than 2 hours.

Illumina also plans to increase the target size of its TruSeq Custom Amplicon kit, so users can increase the content of their assays. Currently, the kit allows users to generate up to 384 amplicons per sample, covering up to 96 kilobases of sequence in total, and includes indexing for up to 96 samples per MiSeq run.

The new kit, which will be "coming soon," will increase the target size to 1,536 amplicons per sample, or up to 400 kilobases in total, while maintaining indexing for up to 96 samples per run. It will also include the bead-based sample normalization.

Further, Illumina plans to introduce a TruSeq DNA HT Sample Preparation kit, which will allow users to multiplex up to 96 samples. Also in the works are TruSeq ChIP and FFPE kits.

For BaseSpace, the company's cloud computing environment for next-gen sequencing data analysis and storage, Illumina plans to add the BWA aligner and the Genome Analysis Tookit for free in the near future. BaseSpace Apps, an "app store," will open in September and will have up to 40 applications available initially. The company is making an application programming interface available to developers under early access in July, and more generally in August.

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