Imagine capturing the entire human genome in a single day, for a few thousand dollars.
Now, researchers at UWA will be able to do just that, with the launch of its first Hi-Seq Illumina Deep Sequencer, the most powerful platform worldwide for next-generation sequencing.
In a single day of use, this new technology will allow researchers to obtain the sequence equivalent of the entire
human genome project which, a decade ago, took four billion dollars and 10 years to complete.
To put that in perspective, it would take a person typing 60 words per minute, eight hours a day, some 50 years to
type the three billion letters, or base pairs, that make up the human genome.
Deep sequencers provide powerful information by reading every base pair of DNA that makes up an organism, and sorting this data into meaningful genetic maps. Using this information, researchers are making incredible breakthroughs as they discover the genes responsible for diseases in plants and animals, find new species and map
our evolutionary past.
“A genome sequence is the ultimate genetic map,” says Professor Jim Whelan.
“The availability of this technology opens up the sequencing field to ecologists, evolutionary biologists, environmental scientists and a variety of cellular and genetic disciplines.
“We are no longer tied to just studying model species such as mice or the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. It develops our potential to cheaply sequence individuals in a population, varieties, mutants or clones in a variety of organisms, and study how they respond to the environment under WA conditions.
“This will greatly increase our ability to fight disease and to breed a variety of crop species for desired traits, such as increased drought, heat, pest or salinity tolerance, thus allowing producers to respond to environmental change or disease in a rapid manner.”
CRICOS Code: 00126G