Congratulations to all – the Sequel System was chosen as one of the top 10 innovations of 2016 by The Scientist magazine. Here’s the write up:
Pacific Biosciences >> The Sequel System
At less than a third the size and weight—and half the cost—of Pacific Biosciences’s original long-read sequencer, the Sequel System is the company’s latest offering in single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing.
Sequel, which debuted last fall, generates the same long reads and single-molecule resolution accomplished by the company’s older SMRT sequencer, called the PacBio RS II. Compared with the RS II, Sequel “is a higher throughput version of SMRT sequencing, which allows the faster generation of more data to tackle larger genomes and biology requiring higher molecular depth as well as metagenomic samples in the same relative time frame,” says Robert Sebra of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City who has used the system since December 2015.
Sebra, who worked at PacBio from 2007 to 2012, has used SMRT technology for various applications over the past six years, including de novo human genome sequencing. “It’s very flexible for both R&D and production sequencing,” he says. “There’s essentially no systematic error, enabling higher quality value sequence data in tandem with longer reads to help discover previously unknown genomic features.”
Sequel is also particularly useful for metagenomics and infectious disease research. It was recently used to produce a reference genome sequence of a Korean individual, says Jonas Korlach, chief scientific officer at PacBio and coinventor of SMRT sequencing (Nature, 538:243-47, 2016). In October, leaders of the Genome 10K (G10K) and Bird 10,000 Genomes (B10K) initiatives announced their choice of SMRT sequencing as a principal technology.
With a list price of US$350,000, a PacBio sequencer is within reach for more labs. “Now, SMRT sequencing is for everyone,” says Korlach.
Fishman: The Sequel System is an improvement on Pacific Biosciences’s earlier systems in that it provides higher throughput and more scalability at a lower cost.
StrÖmvik: Though not affordable for small labs, high-throughput, long-read sequencing is essential for any group working on large and complex genomes, metagenomics, and metatranscriptomes.