Oxford Nanopore PromethION

Nanopore sequencing is the ‘new wave’ of sequencing technology. This moves away from sequencing-by-synthesis or detecting the incorporation of bases by semiconductors. Nanopore sequencing works by directly detecting the base composition of a DNA strand as it passes through the pore. In some ways it is similar to the Pacific Biosciences platforms, detecting a single strand of DNA, only it is a direct detection method and doesn’t rely on detecting fluorescence release from an incorporating nucleotide. The Earlham Institute has signed up to the PromethION Early Access Programme (PEAP) and we expect the platform to arrive in 2016.

For more information on the PromethION system take a look at Oxford Nanopore’s website.

Oxford Nanopore PromethION

The applications.

A high-throughput version of it’s USB sized predecessor, this machine will produce long reads on an industrial scale, meaning it will be a platform in high demand for genome assembly and transcriptomics work as well as population-scale long read sequencing.

The throughput.

The PromethION contains docking sites for 48 individual flow cells. Each flow cell contains a nanopore sensor array with 3000 nanopores. This means there are 144,000 nanopores available. For contrast the MinION has 512. The PromethION should be capable of generating 12Tb of data in 48 hours (far beyond the capacity of most people to process it!). This is the equivalent of 1.25 billion reads of 10kb 1D reads.

What we use it for.

We’ll let you know what we’re using it for as soon as it is installed!

Related reading.