Assessing the Performance of the Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION


Drs. Laver, Harrison, O'Neill et al., of the University of Exeter, have published a paper assessing the performance and limitations of Oxford Technology’s MinION nanopore sequencing technology, which potentially offers read lengths of tens of kilobases. This methodology discriminates individual nucleotides by measuring the change in electrical conductivity as DNA molecules pass through the pore. Nanopore sequencing does not rely on sequencing by synthesis.

The end repair and adenylation steps of library prep of three bacterial genomes with varying GC content were performed using the NEXTflex™ Rapid DNA-Seq Kit for MinION resequencing.

The researchers estimated the error rate of the MinION to be 38.2%, which currently limits the MinION’s ability to compete with existing sequencing technologies. However, with read lengths of up to 98 Kb, they showed that MinION sequence reads could enhance the contiguity of de novo assembly when used in conjunction with Illumina MiSeq data.

Laver, T., Harrison, J., O’Neill, P. A., Moore, K., Farbos, A., Paszkiewicz, K. and Studholme, D. J. (2015) Assessing the performance of the Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION. Biomolecular Detection and Quantification 3 (2015) 1–8. doi :10.1016/j.bdq.2015.02.001.

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