Pacific Biosciences improves key applications on the Sequel System with new chemistry and software release

Pacific Biosciences of California, announced a new version of chemistry (V2) and software (V4) for the Sequel™ System. The new release improves the system’s ability to support important applications such as structural variant detection and targeted sequencing— including metagenomics, minor variant detection and isoform sequencing— by achieving mean read lengths of 10-15 kb, with half of the data in reads &#62 20 kb, and throughput from 5-8 Gb.

In addition to these applications, the high consensus accuracy, uniform coverage, and long read lengths inherent to the Sequel System continue to make it ideal for applications such as de novo genome assembly.

The Sequel System is PacBio’s latest platform based on its Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology. Since the launch of the system in fall of 2015, PacBio has installed more than 110 Sequel Systems globally. The latest release includes a new version of the consumable SMRT Cells that is tuned for the new sequencing chemistry kits. The company has also made updates to its base calling algorithm that increase accuracy, and added new features in the Sequel System software package designed for clinical research applications. The V2 chemistry and V4 software updates will be available on January 23, 2017.

This release improves users’ ability to perform low-fold structural variant detection and key targeted sequencing applications. For structural variant detection, they can now accomplish the same or better quality of results for structural variant analysis using, on average, half the number of SMRT Cells compared to the previously available chemistry. Long read lengths provided by the new chemistry also enable the detection of larger-scale structural variants, in particular there is a 3-fold increase in sensitivity of insertions over 5 kb. For targeted sequencing, the new chemistry and the software gives users more flexibility. For example, for minor variant detection, customers can either gain detection sensitivity or reduce cost per sample with increased sample multiplexing.

“This release is part of our continued commitment to increasing the performance of the Sequel System, and we are very pleased with the data we are seeing both internally and in beta-test customers’ hands,” said Kevin Corcoran, Senior Vice President of Market Development for Pacific Biosciences. “We are focused on improving the key applications that our customers care about and where SMRT Sequencing provides unique advantages. For example, by increasing throughput, we are making de novo genome assembly projects more cost effective.”