Next Generation Sequencing
The term next generation sequencing (NGS) subsumes the different novel techniques available for DNA sequencing (Bonetta, L. 2006, Genome sequencing in the fast lane, Nature Methods, 2:141-7) that do not rely on the classical chain terminating method published in 1977 by Sanger and co-workers (Sanger, F. et al. 1977, DNA sequencing with chain-terminating inhibitors, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 74:5463–7). Based on the different NGS methods, DNA sequencing now is possible faster and at a lower price per base. Moreover, all these methods are designed for high throughput sequencing. The huge amount of raw sequence data that can be obtained in a single instrument run renders bacterial or viral full genome sequencing possible within a single over night sequencing run.
Main task of the laboratory for NGS and microarray diagnostics is full-length DNA or RNA virus genome sequencing. To this end, we prepare DNA from diverse sources for sequencing and conduct the sequencing of these. Besides full-length genome sequencing we perform metagenomic analyses (metagenomic analyses aim at identification of the members of a microbial community in a certain environment). Moreover, we use amplicon sequencing of specific regions within a genome for in-depth analyses of the SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) content within this region. Beyond the sequencing activities, establishing new technical equipment, molecular biological methods, and implementing new ways for data analyses are in the focus. With regard to molecular biological methods, an important issue that is addressed in close collaboration with colleagues from the specialized laboratories in the FLI is sample preparation for sequencing.