2-Channel SBS Technology

Latest Evolution in Illumina Sequencing Technology

All Illumina sequencing systems use our proven sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology. SBS is the most widely adopted next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, producing more than 90% of global sequencing data.* SBS delivers highly accurate base-by-base sequencing and robust performance across the genome.

Our more recently introduced instruments use the latest evolution in SBS technology, 2-channel SBS. This method enables faster data generation with the same high data accuracy as 4-channel SBS.

Faster Sequencing and Data Processing Times

The 2-channel SBS method requires only 2 images per cycle, instead of 4 (Figure 1). This accelerates sequencing and data processing times, while delivering the same quality and accuracy that sets Illumina systems apart. These advances make 2-channel SBS an affordable solution, enabling NGS to become an everyday tool in laboratories worldwide.  

4-Channel vs. 2-Channel SBS Technology

Simplified Nucleotide Detection

Rather than a separate dye for each base, 2-channel SBS uses a mix of dyes. Images are taken of each DNA cluster using red and green wavelength filter bands (Figure 2).

Clusters seen in red or green images are interpreted as C and T bases, respectively. Clusters observed in both red and green images are flagged as A bases (appearing as yellow clusters), while unlabeled clusters are identified as G bases.


2-Channel SBS Imaging

Instruments Featuring 2-Channel SBS

The MiniSeq System leverages 2-channel SBS to offer the smallest, most affordable Illumina benchtop sequencer to date. It supports a wide range of applications, from targeted DNA and RNA sequencing to tumor profiling studies, small RNA discovery, and more.

The NextSeq Series delivers speed and simplicity for everyday genomics. 2-channel SBS enabled these systems to become the first benchtop sequencers to perform high-throughput applications. They support whole-transcriptome, exome, and targeted resequencing studies.

The NovaSeq Series offers scalable throughput and flexibility for virtually any genome, sequencing method, and scale of project.


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

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2-Channel SBS Technology Spotlight

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