Microbiology: The Scope Of Next Generation Sequencing

DNA sequencing technologies have been around since the 1970s. At first, their use was expensive, complex and sometimes even dangerous (in the case of the old technique with radioactive probes). Like everything in Science, year after year technological evolution gave way to the development of sequencing by synthesis , the current foundation of Illumina’s next generation sequencers.

Fig. 1. Genomic microbial with Illumina. Videos and Seminars. Available in: Microbial Genomics

Currently, 90% of publications with sequencing methods report the use of this technology, highlighting its impact due to the massive performance in number of samples and amount of data. In the field of Microbiology, the substitution of traditional techniques becomes probable, since there have been so many applications and the scope that NGS sequencing has had, that it is already possible to distinguish such a Microbial Genomics to such a discipline derived and focused on genomic methods for the study of microbial communities. Next, learn about the applications and scope that this technology has had in Microbiology.

  1. Microbial identification
  2. Microbial diversity
  3. Microbial evolution
  4. Antimicrobial resistance
  5. Microbiomes (humans, animals)
  6. Microbiomes (environmental)
  7. Outbreak and disease monitoring
  8. Food safety

In these applications, the most common method is complete genome sequencing that usually involves sub-methods : 1. Resequencing (re-assembly of sequences using a reference genome) or 2. De novo sequencing (complete assembly of a new genome without prior reference) . The most common techniques that are usually used for these purposes are: 16S sequencing (microbiomes) and shotgun sequencing (metagenomics), which we will talk about in future blogs.

Within Illumina sequencing platforms, benchtop systems have capabilities that distinguish them for the study of microbial communities. Here you can see a comparison between them:

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