By Kevin Davies
Using "DNA cluster" technology acquired one year ago, Solexa has completed its first full genome sequence -- a 5,000-base virus, Phi-X 174, well known in the annals of DNA sequencing as the first genome ever to be sequenced, by the Nobel laureate Fred Sanger in 1978.
DNA cluster technology, which Solexa acquired from Swiss-based Manteia, enables the parallel amplification of millions of DNA fragments from a single DNA molecule to create DNA colonies, or "clusters." These super-dense clusters facilitate rapid, simplified sample preparation and allow reduced reagent consumption.
Solexa assembled the final genome sequence from a total of more than 3 million bases, all from a single sample preparation. By studying clusters with a radius of just 0.5 microns, Solexa says it can analyze a much higher density of sequence reads than its former bead-based approach, slashing reagent costs in the process.
This achievement closely follows Solexa's completed merger with Lynx Therapeutics. The company is headquartered in Hayward, Calif., with Solexa CEO John West in charge. Solexa hopes to launch commercial instrument distribution within the next 12 months.