MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB), provider of the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System, today announced significant new product enhancements to support researchers working on complex genome projects. The new P5 polymerase and C3 chemistry combination (P5-C3) extends the industry-leading sequence read lengths to an average of approximately 8,500 bases, with the longest reads exceeding 30,000 bases. A key feature of this performance enhancement is the inclusion of new photo-protected dyes, used to distinguish the four DNA bases using four colors of fluorescence. These photo-protected dyes shield the P5 polymerase from laser-induced damage, allowing the polymerase to provide extremely long sequencing reads.
A complete genome sequence is an extremely valuable tool in many types of scientific research, yet most organisms do not have their complete genome assembled – including humans. Instead, complex genomes are partially completed with difficult repetitive sections and longer structural variants excluded from the assembly, resulting in highly fragmented, incomplete genomes. To sequence the complete genome of an organism, very long sequencing reads are required to span these regions, which can be critical in understanding gene function. The very long sequence reads provided by the PacBio RS II Single Molecule, Real-time (SMRT®) sequencing system provide researchers the opportunity to fill gaps or reduce the number of fragments in assemblies of moderate and large genomes.
"With the P5-C3 release, we saw another step change in the evolution of PacBio data," said Dr. Paul Coupland, Research Scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which served as a test site. "We obtained polymerase mean read lengths of greater than 8,500 bases, enabling us to span longer repeats, phase SNPs, and discover structural variants that were previously hidden. Our first data set was used for hybrid de novo assembly, and when combined with existing P4-C2 data the assembly was considerably improved."
"Following our steady stream of system and chemistry improvements during 2013, including our v3 SMRT Cells, the PacBio RS II launch and the highly accurate polymerase P4, this release is our next generation chemistry upon which future developments and read length improvements will be built," said Kevin Corcoran, Senior Vice President of Market Development for Pacific Biosciences. "Now 50% of the bases come from reads over 10,000 bases in length, nearly doubling the per-SMRT® Cell throughput. As our customers continue to sequence larger and more complex genomes, the long reads generated from P5-C3 chemistry make it an ideal choice for scaffolding and hybrid de novo assemblies."
The latest release also includes 20,000-base size-selected library protocols optimized for use with the Sage Science BluePippin™ DNA size selection system, along with an upgraded version of SMRT Analysis (available at http://pacbiodevnet.com/), which introduces an update to the popular HGAP assembler. The new HGAP 2 assembler significantly decreases the time required to perform de novo genome assembly. These HGAP performance enhancements also extend the range of genome sizes that can be assembled. Additional software features include diploid-aware SNP detection as well as haplotype phasing of amplicons, which provides users the opportunity to utilize the platform for applications such as HLA analysis. The new reagents are available in addition to the previously released P4-C2 chemistry, which is still recommended for PacBio-only de novo assembly, minor-variant detection, targeted sequencing, and cDNA applications.
Researchers attending the 2013 American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting in Boston can attend a workshop on October 24 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. to learn more about the PacBio RS II and hear from customers who are using the system.
More information about the PacBio RS II and the latest product enhancements is available at: www.pacb.com.
About Pacific Biosciences
Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. (Nasdaq:PACB) offers the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System to help scientists solve genetically complex problems. Based on its novel Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) technology, the company's products enable: targeted sequencing to more comprehensively characterize genetic variations; de novo genome assembly to more fully identify, annotate and decipher genomic structures; and DNA base modification identification to help characterize epigenetic regulation and DNA damage. By providing access to information that was previously inaccessible, Pacific Biosciences enables scientists to increase their understanding of biological systems. More information is available at www.pacb.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the current or future performance of products and product enhancements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond the Company's control and that could materially affect actual results. Factors that could materially affect actual results can be found in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and include those listed under the caption "Risk Factors." The Company expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
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