Earlham Institute first UK site to receive Illumina NovaSeq X Plus

21 March 2023
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The Earlham Institute has today taken receipt of the NovaSeq X Plus, the first site in the UK and among the first in Europe to install this latest sequencing system from Illumina.

The system enables a major uplift in throughput and accuracy, bolstering the Institute's growing range of cutting-edge technology needed to drive forward data-intensive bioscience.

The NovaSeq™ X series includes two new instruments, both powered by XLEAP-SBS chemistry. The Plus system features two stages capable of generating up to 16 terabases of data per run.

At full capacity, the system will more than double the sequencing throughput of earlier systems available at the Institute, while enabling faster, cheaper, and more sustainable workflows.

Wooden crate housing the new Illumina NovaSeqX arrives on site at the Earlham Institute

The illumina NovaSeq X Plus arrives on-site at the Earlham Institute

The acquisition of the NovaSeq X Plus was made possible by capital grant funding from the UKRI-Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Dr Karim Gharbi, Head of Genomics Pipelines at the Earlham Institute, said: “Our investment in the NovaSeq X was largely motivated by the rapid growth of cellular multi-omics and other data-intensive research carried out at the Earlham Institute and in the wider bioscience community. But the platform will bring benefits across the board, with increased cost-efficiency, resolution, and sensitivity.

“We’re excited to be the first place in the UK to provide access to this technology, which will transform our own research and that of others - whether that’s for collaborative or contract research.”
Given its ability to rapidly and reliably generate omics data at scale, the platform will be central to the Earlham Institute’s delivery of its strategic research programmes - particularly in spatial and single-cell analysis.

Dr Iain Macaulay, Technical Development Group Leader at the Earlham Institute, said: “Single-cell genomics has become one of the Earlham Institute’s unique strengths, with a suite of cutting-edge platforms, bespoke workflows, and a wealth of technical experience working with different cell types and species.

“The real impact comes from the way these advanced systems are fully integrated into the Institute’s research programmes. We’ve brought together talented scientists and exceptional  technology platforms to answer fundamental research questions in human, plant and microbial biology. 

“This has given us the opportunity to amass substantial in-house expertise in cellular genomics, which in turn enables us to make these platforms and approaches accessible to the wider UK life science sector at a scale that is just not possible in many research environments. 

“The NovaSeq X Plus will enable the Earlham Institute to deliver ‘atlas-scale’ single-cell projects, where many hundreds of thousands - or millions - of cells are sequenced in parallel.”

"We are delighted that the Earlham Institute has taken delivery of the first NovaSeq™ X Plus instrument in the UK and invested in this innovative technology to meet its long-term strategic goals," said Mark Robinson, General Manager, UK and Ireland, Illumina.

“With its new chemistry, the NovaSeq X series enables our customers to maximize their productivity and minimize turnaround time, with faster, more powerful, and more sustainable sequencing.”

If you haven’t engaged with the Earlham Institute before, now is the time to get in touch and see how this combination of infrastructure and expertise can support your science.

Notes to editors.

For more information, please contact:

Greg Bowker

Head of Communications, Earlham Institute (EI)

 +44 (0)1603 450 895 / greg.bowker@earlham.ac.uk


About the Earlham Institute

The Earlham Institute is a hub of life science research, training, and innovation focused on understanding the natural world through the lens of genomics. Embracing the full breadth of life on Earth, our scientists specialise in developing and testing the latest tools and approaches needed to decode living systems and make predictions about biology.

The Earlham Institute is based within the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC), as well as support from other research funders.

Tags: Technology