With its unprecedented throughput, scalability, and speed, next-generation sequencing (NGS) enables researchers to study biological systems at a level never before possible.
Today's complex genomic research questions demand a depth of information beyond the capacity of traditional DNA sequencing technologies. Next-generation sequencing has filled that gap and become an everyday research tool to address these questions.
Innovative NGS sample preparation and data analysis options enable a broad range of applications. For example, next-gen sequencing allows you to:
Using capillary electrophoresis-based Sanger sequencing, the Human Genome Project took over 10 years and cost nearly $3 billion.
Next-generation sequencing, in contrast, makes large-scale whole-genome sequencing accessible and practical for the average researcher.
NGS makes sequence-based gene expression analysis a “digital” alternative to analog techniques. It lets you quantify RNA expression with the breadth of a microarray and the resolution of qPCR.
Microarray gene expression measurement is limited by noise at the low end and signal saturation at the high end. In contrast, next-generation sequencing quantifies discrete, digital sequencing read counts, offering a virtually unlimited dynamic range.
This detailed overview of Illumina sequencing describes the evolution of genomic science, major advances in sequencing technology, key methods, the basics of Illumina sequencing chemistry, and more.Read Introduction
NGS is highly scalable, allowing you to tune the level of resolution to meet specific experimental needs.
Targeted sequencing allows you to focus your research on particular regions of the genome. Choose whether to do a shallow scan across multiple samples, or sequence at greater depth with fewer samples to find rare variants in a given region.
Illumina next-generation sequencing utilizes a fundamentally different approach from the classic Sanger chain-termination method. It leverages sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology – tracking the addition of labeled nucleotides as the DNA chain is copied – in a massively parallel fashion.
Next-gen sequencing generates masses of DNA sequence data that's richer and more complete than is imaginable with Sanger sequencing. Illumina sequencing systems can deliver data output ranging from 300 kilobases up to multiple terabases in a single run, depending on instrument type and configuration.
Recent Illumina next-generation sequencing technology breakthroughs include:
*This specification is based on a dual flow cell run of S4 flow cells which have not been released; therefore, performance metrics are subject to change.
The resources below offer valuable guidance to researchers who are considering purchasing an NGS system.