MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 13, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), today announced the Genome 10K (G10K) and Bird 10,000 Genomes (B10K) initiatives have invested in SMRT® Sequencing to be included as one of the technologies for the next phase of their vertebrate genome assembly programs. Prominent neurobiologist Erich Jarvis, one of the co-founders of the B10K project and a co-leader of the G10K initiative, has ordered two Sequel™ Systems, with plans for three additional units in conjunction with his new position at The Rockefeller University, and in a planned collaboration with the New York Genome Center.
Several other global leaders of the G10K and B10K consortia will also contribute use of their recently acquired PacBio® Sequel Systems toward their goal of creating de novo assembled vertebrate genomes, including Harris Lewin at UC Davis in the USA, Richard Durbin at the Sanger Institute in the UK, Gene Myers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology & Genetics in Germany, and Guojie Zhang with affiliations at BGI in China and Denmark.
The G10K project was established in 2009 by a consortium of biologists and genome scientists, including Dr. Jarvis, Steve O’Brien of the Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, David Haussler and Beth Shapiro of the UC Santa Cruz Genome Institute, and Oliver Ryder of UC San Diego. Together they determined to sequence the genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species by 2020. The B10K project, launched in 2015 and co-led by Dr. Jarvis along with Dr. Zhang of BGI and Thomas Gilbert of the University of Copenhagen, is an initiative to generate representative draft genome sequences for all 10,500 bird species, also within the next five years.
In the first phase of the projects, the two groups collaborated. One outcome was the Avian Phylogenomics Project, which involved more than 200 scientists and sequenced the genomes of more than 45 new bird species. That project has resulted in more than 50 publications since December 2014, including eight in a special issue of Science magazine, which was considered a major advance in comparative genomics.
At that time, the consortia were using short-read technologies, but have since discovered that they will be able to make even further scientific advances with longer-read technology. Thus, the G10K and the B10K initiatives will include the Sequel Systems for the next phases of these projects. They intend to sequence the genomes for several thousand vertebrate species with PacBio technology for diploid-resolved, high-quality de novo genome assemblies, and perform subsequent chromosome-level scaffolding with complementary approaches, including BioNano Genomics’ optical genome mapping, Dovetail’s proximity in vitro genome mapping, and Phase Genomics Hi-C mapping.
Dr. Jarvis, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is well known for his work studying the neurobiology of vocal learning, mainly in songbirds, but also in other species, including humans. He uses vocal-learning bird species to explore what they can teach us about spoken language in humans.
PacBio sequencing technology will allow Dr. Jarvis to create more high-quality reference genome assemblies. For example, in his hummingbird (a vocal learner) sequencing project, PacBio sequencing provided a large increase in the number of complete genes and reduced the number of contigs from 124,000 using short-read sequencing to 1,000 using long-read SMRT Sequencing. For the zebra finch, a vocal learning songbird, SMRT Sequencing fully resolved gaps in the Sanger reference and detected errors in the previous reference genome. When combined with the scaffolding approaches, Dr. Jarvis’ team is getting chromosome-level genome assemblies that are helping to better understand the genetics of vocal learning.
Jonas Korlach, Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Biosciences, commented: “We are delighted to support this new era of improved genome assemblies for the world’s diverse species, and look forward to working with Dr. Jarvis and the other members of the G10K and B10K projects to support their efforts to create high-quality reference genomes.”
About Pacific Biosciences
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (NASDAQ:PACB) offers sequencing systems to help scientists resolve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, Pacific Biosciences’ products enable: de novo genome assembly to finish genomes in order to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; full-length transcript analysis to improve annotations in reference genomes, characterize alternatively spliced isoforms in important gene families, and find novel genes; targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; and real-time kinetic information for epigenome characterization. Pacific Biosciences’ technology provides high accuracy, ultra-long reads, uniform coverage, and is the only DNA sequencing technology that provides the ability to simultaneously detect epigenetic changes. PacBio® sequencing systems, including consumables and software, provide a simple, fast, end-to-end workflow for SMRT Sequencing. More information is available at www.pacb.com.
All statements in this press release that are not historical are forward-looking statements, including, among other things, statements relating to product orders, future uses, quality or performance of, or benefits of using, products or technologies, expected benefits from the G10K and the B10K initiatives, and other future events. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, changes in circumstances and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond Pacific Biosciences’ control and could cause actual results to differ materially from the information expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made in this press release. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in Pacific Biosciences’ most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Pacific Biosciences’ most recent reports on Forms 8-K, 10-K and 10-Q, and include those listed under the caption “Risk Factors.”
Pacific Biosciences undertakes no obligation to revise or update information in this press release to reflect events or circumstances in the future, even if new information becomes available.
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Last updated on: 14/10/2016
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