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PacBio, Sanger Institute, Public Health England to Finish 3,000 Bacterial Genomes Over Three Years

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb news) − Pacific Biosciences said today that it is collaborating with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Public Health England to generate complete genome sequences for 3,000 bacterial strains from PHE's National Collection of Type Cultures, NCTC.

Sequencing for the three-year project will be conducted at the Sanger Institute and will involve PacBio's single-molecule real-time sequencing technology, which provides not only DNA sequence data but also base modifications.

"This is a crucial set of reference bacteria, and it is critical to have fully finished genomes for them," said Julian Parkhill, head of pathogen genomics at the Sanger Institute, in a statement. "The collection of 3,000 additional finished genomes, including plasmids and other genomic elements, and epigenomes, will be a wonderful resource for the entire microbiology community."

According to PacBio, the NCTC is an important collection of bacterial strains, but most do not have reference genomes at this point. Combining existing historical and biological information for these strains with reference genomes "will generate a data set of enormous value for basic and clinical microbiology," the company said.

Financial terms of the collaboration were not provided.