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Reducing assembly complexity of microbial genomes with single-molecule sequencing

A new paper released in Genome Biology on September 13 from lead author Sergey Koren at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center offers a thorough overview of Pacific Biosciences' SMRT® Sequencing for microbes, from per-genome cost to potential for assembling complete genomes. Koren and co-authors consider microbial genome assembly, which evolved over time from the Sanger days of manually finished genomes to short-read sequencers that offered lots of sequence data but virtually no finished genomes. Today, that evolution has continued with SMRT® Sequencing. Less than a third of genomes in the Genomes OnLine Database are closed, according to the authors, and fewer still were considered fully finished. “This has hampered large-scale, structural analyses of bacterial genomes, and focused research instead on isolated genes and single-nucleotide polymorphisms,” Koren et al. write. Without knowledge of the full genome, microbiologists have been missing key information about pathogenicity, function, evolution, and more.
 
 

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