Agilent Aids a Massive Biomedical Database Project

Agilent recently got a nice customer shout-out.

Public Health England and the Sanger Institute are assembling a genetic database of bacteria and viruses related to global public health.  The NCTC 3000 project aims to sequence the genomes of 3,000 bacterial strains and 500 viruses.  This information will aid biomedical research and discovery.

“This is a crucial set of reference bacteria, and it is critical to have fully finished genomes for them,” says Sanger’s Julian Parkhill.

“We think this is the largest project in the world generating whole-genome sequences for prokaryotic organisms,” says PHE’s Sarah Alexander.

Alexander notes that one of the project’s biggest challenges has been to extract enough DNA from the bacteria strains for whole-genome sequencing.  She specifically credits Agilent’s TapeStation platform with making this task easier.  TapeStation generates DNA quality profiles and ensures quality control for next-generation sequencing.

The result?  Of the 2,700 strains sequenced so far, more than 92 percent were assembled with fewer than five contigs (contiguous sequences of DNA).  More than 56 percent were assembled with a single contig.

“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,” says Dr. Parkhill.

Today’s blog post topic was suggested by Agilent employee Katherine Wilkins.  Thanks, Katie!

For more information go to: