AGENCOURT COMPLETES DNA SEQUENCING PROJECT FOR WHITEHEAD.
Tetraodon's non-toxicity and compact genome make it ideal for sequencing. In conjunction with the significant preliminary mapping and sequencing progress contributed by Jean Weissenbach's group at GenoScope in Envry, France, Agencourt provided another 2 million double-ended whole genome shotgun sequencing reads required to unveil the mystery of this genome.
"The international collaboration was an excellent example of merging diverse skill sets to quickly reach a valuable milestone for genomic research. We now have enough coverage of the Tetraodon genome to begin assembly," said Eric S. Lander, director of the Whitehead Institute Center for Genomic Research.
Agencourt contributed 2.7x phred 20 coverage of whole genome double-ended shotgun sequences while GenoScope contributed another 2.3x of long read Li-Cor sequences and BAC end reads. Whitehead generated 5kb whole genome shotgun libraries that Agencourt used to generate the sequence data.
"Library construction for this fish was no easy task. The tissues involved were stubborn and unyielding, making library construction for this organism more art than science," said Nicole Stange-Thomann, who organized the library construction of more than 5,000 BAC libraries for the Human Genome Project, and a variety of other whole genome shotgun libraries at the Whitehead Institute.
Tetraodon and the puffer fish Fugu rubripes are considered to be important species to the sequence because they are vertebrates and 8 times as compact as the human genome, with much the same genes and regulatory content as human but with much less "junk" DNA. This makes it easier to identify genes in the human. Together, the two fish sequences will add to the knowledge base researchers need to unravel the mysteries of the human genome. Comparing the human genome to those of other species helps researchers identify important genetic elements conserved through evolution.
Two of Agencourt 's founders played an integral role in helping to scale Whitehead's sequencing facility for the Human Genome project. "We are confident that the high quality and higher sequence coverage provided with Tetraodon will expedite the discovery of not only human and mouse regulatory regions but the functional domains of human proteins," said Kevin McKernan , co-chief scientific officer and co-founder of Agencourt .
About Agencourt Bioscience Corporation
Agencourt Bioscience Corporation is a provider of genomic services and products such as DNA Sequencing, SNP Genotyping and DNA Purification to the life sciences industry. Agencourt solutions help biotech and pharmaceutical companies improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their drug development pipelines. The company's proven and patented Solid Phase Reversible Immobilization (SPRI(TM)) technology has been used to sequence over 10 billion base pairs of high quality DNA or more than one-third of the human genome. Several of Agencourt 's founders worked at the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, and have significant experience in marrying the chemistries and instrumentation for high-throughput genomics. Agencourt is located in Beverly, Mass.
For more information, visit http://www.agencourt.com.