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Small Whole-Genome Sequencing

Introduction to Small Whole-Genome Sequencing

Small genome sequencing (≤ 5 Mb) involves sequencing the entire genome of a bacterium, virus, or other microbe, and then comparing the sequence to a known reference. Sequencing small microbial genomes can be useful for food testing in public health, infectious disease surveillance, molecular epidemiology studies, and environmental metagenomics.

Small Whole-Genome Sequencing in 3 Simple Steps

See a detailed view of the smallest organisms with this seamless workflow solution.

View Recommended Workflow

Advantages of Small Genome Sequencing

  • Allows investigation of all genes from single organism culture
  • Sequences thousands of organisms in parallel
  • Provides comprehensive analysis of the microbial or viral genome
  • Aids discovery of new biomarkers within a microbial or viral sample by providing distinct gene information from homologous chromosomes, supporting haplotyping

Fast, Culture-Free Microbial Analysis

Unlike traditional approaches, small genome sequencing studies using next-generation sequencing (NGS) do not rely on labor-intensive cloning steps. NGS also enables biologists to sequence hundreds of organisms simultaneously via multiplexing. NGS can identify low-frequency variants, genomic rearrangements, and other genetic changes that might be missed or are too costly to identify using other methods. For small genomes, DNA libraries can be prepared, sequenced, and analyzed in as little as 2 days.

Sequencing Method Explorer

Use this interactive tool to explore experimental next-generation sequencing (NGS) library preparation methods compiled from the scientific literature.

Find a Method
Sequencing Method Explorer

Comprehensive Small Whole-Genome Sequencing Workflow

Illumina sequencing by synthesis (SBS) chemistry is the most widely adopted NGS technology, generating approximately 90% of global sequencing data.*

In addition to our industry-leading data quality, Illumina offers integrated workflows that simplify small genome sequencing, from library preparation to data analysis.

Can Applying NGS Lead to Better Beer?

An international group of scientists, yeast producers, and brewers sequenced 96 yeast strains to learn how genetics can influence the flavor of beer. Their findings, published in Cell, could help brewers make better beers.

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Can Applying NGS Lead to Better Beer?

Related Solutions

Microbial Sequencing

Microbial whole-genome sequencing is an important research tool for mapping genomes of novel organisms, finishing genomes of known organisms, or comparing genomes across multiple samples. Learn more about microbial whole-genome sequencing.

Shotgun Metagenomics

Shotgun metagenomics enables comprehensive analysis of all genes in all organisms present in a given complex sample. It enables researchers to detect very low abundance microbes that may be missed or are too expensive to identify using other methods. Learn more about shotgun metagenomic sequencing.

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Additional Resources

Tracking the Ebola Virus
Tracking the Ebola Virus

Harvard researchers used sequencing to study Ebola outbreaks and understand viral mutations.

Small Genome Sequencing With the NextSeq Series
Small Genome Sequencing With the NextSeq Series

The NextSeq Series of sequencing systems offers an accessible whole-genome sequencing solution.

Single-Cell Sequencing of Marine Microbes
Single-Cell Sequencing of Marine Microbes

Dr. Ramunas Stepanauskas uses single-cell sequencing to characterize bacteria inhabiting the ocean.

Sequencing Tracks a Deadly Porcine Virus
Sequencing Tracks a Deadly Porcine Virus

Dr. Ganwu Li and other veterinary scientists use sequencing to study a virus that threatens the pork industry.

Nextera DNA Flex on the iSeq 100 System
Nextera DNA Flex on the iSeq 100 System

View tips on transitioning to Nextera DNA Flex on the iSeq 100 System, including considerations for viral and bacterial sequencing.

*Data calculations on file. Illumina, Inc., 2015