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Genome Analyzers investment aims to triple BGI’s genome sequencing throughput

Illumina : 22 April, 2008  (Application Story)
Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) has purchased 11 Genome Analyzers from Illumina, increasing the organization's total number of the Illumina sequencing systems to 17.
BGI is the fourth genome centre to expand its Genome Analyzer installbase to double digits. As a result of recent enhancements to the Genome Analyzer, BGI researchers will have the capacity to sequence more than two human genomes to 25x coverage per week.

The increase in throughput will expand BGI's capacity for sequencing services to the local genetic research labs, as well as broaden the range and pace of sequencing projects undertaken by the organization, such as the YangHuang 99 project, the 1000 Genomes Project, the Giant Panda Project, the tree of life project, and numerous other large-scale initiatives.

'BGI is focused on accelerating the rate of scientific discovery, and expanding our understanding of genetic variation and diversity across human genomes. We have worked closely with Illumina to determine ways to dramatically increase our sequencing capacity in order to efficiently and quickly complete several new large sequencing projects,' stated Xiuqing Zhang, director of the Sequencing Division of the Beijing Genomics Institute. “After rigorously testing this sequencing platform, we opted to purchase the additional Genome Analyzers because of the machine's enhanced level of performance, price, and ease of use. Combined with the longer 500bp reads from other platforms, Illumina is the most suitable high throughput sequencing platform for accurate de novo genome sequencing. The collaborative relationship that we established with Illumina this past year also played a significant role in our decision to scale up to 17 Genome Analyzers.'

BGI is among the world's leading scientific organizations, and aims to advance the understanding of biology and medicine through the use of large-scale sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. The institute also offers sequencing services to the international community. BGI promotes the use of genome-scale scientific approaches and strongly supports collaborative efforts in order to achieve this goal.

'BGI's decision to acquire 11 additional Genome Analyzers is further validation that our sequencing platform is delivering leading performance, and becoming the sequencing platform of choice,' said Christian Henry, acting general manager of Illumina's Sequencing Business. 'With its unmatched rate of daily output, ease of use, and proven paired-end sequencing capability, the Genome Analyzer will continue to provide the scalable solution researchers need to complete projects that were not possible one year ago.'

Designed for facilities of all sizes, the Genome Analyzer has experienced rapid adoption across genome centres worldwide, including individual research labs, core and service facilities, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Specified to generate more than three gigabases of high-quality data over a five-day paired-end read run, the Genome Analyzer offers the highest rate of daily output and the simplest and most user friendly workflow.

The Genome Analyzer also offers the broadest set of supported applications, including those used to profile and discover novel miRNA, to create a high-resolution genome-wide map of DNA-protein binding sites, or to sequence a whole-human genome to greater than 30x coverage. The system's groundbreaking capabilities are further validated by the continuing stream of customer peer-reviewed publications, now numbering more than 50.
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