Oxford Nanopore, Tecan Launch Automated NGS Library Prep Workflow

February 28, 2023

By Bio-IT World Staff 

February 28, 2023 | Yesterday, Oxford Nanopore Technologies and the Tecan Group announced their collaboration on an automated NGS library preparation workflow, and released a technical note outlining a proof-of-concept use case where the Oxford Nanopore’s Ligation Sequencing Kit XL V14 processing multiple DNA samples on the Tecan DreamPrep NGS achieves high yield and raw read sequencing modal accuracy of Q20 (99%) and above. 

The integrated combination of Oxford Nanopore and Tecan technologies is intended to enhance true load-and-go DNA and RNA sequencing library preparation with proven liquid handling technology, reagent kits that are compatible with automation, and intuitive user interfaces that will allow set-up for walkaway library prep runs in the DreamPrep NGS. 

Oxford Nanopore CEO Gordon Sanghera said, “Our collaboration with Tecan is scaling accessible life sciences innovation with a global partner, providing automated seamless plug-and-play solutions to our customers in quicker, higher quality results that save time, cost and effort.” 

“At Tecan we scale healthcare innovation, from life science to the clinic, and our partnership with Oxford Nanopore enables us to do just that,” said Dr. Klaus Lun, Tecan Executive Vice President and Head of the Life Sciences Business Division in a press release. “Combining our expertise in automation and high-quality library preparation with Oxford Nanopore sequencing and its capabilities around any-length reads, native DNA/RNA and real time sequencing, has implications in multiple fields, from population genetics to cancer research and personalized medicine.” 

The collaboration between Tecan and Oxford Nanopore further expands Tecan’s growing portfolio of solutions for automated NGS library preparation. Tecan’s liquid handlers are compatible with all Oxford Nanopore devices, from Flongle to PromethION 48, as well as the PromethION 2 (P2) Solo high-output sequencing device.  

Automated Long Reads 

Oxford Nanopore’s Ligation Sequencing Kit XL V14 protocol allows for any fragment length of DNA to be sequenced, which can range from cell-free DNA to amplicons to any length DNA fragments, from 200 base pairs to more than 100kb or even Mb. But in discussing the collaboration, both companies emphasized the value of long read sequencing to generate more comprehensive insights into the genome, including gathering insights into methylation, repetitive patterns of sequences or larger-scale genetic variants. By combining highly reproducible automated library preparation of short and/or long fragments and high yields of genomic data, it becomes feasible to reliably identify a comprehensive map of genetic alterations, conduct accurate phasing, resolve repeated sequences, and measure DNA methylation, all in a single sequencing run, the companies argue. The same workflow also works on shorter DNA fragments as well, such as cell-free DNA.  

Tecan automated library preparation systems transform time-consuming and error-prone procedures into simple, robust user experiences.  

Protocol Ligation Sequencing Kit and DreamPrep Technical Note 

A technical note released yesterday serves as proof-of-concept and demonstrates the speed, accessibility, and automated consistency the collaboration delivers for a variety of applications, according to the companies.  

In the use case, 8 Kb of human genomic DNA libraries from each of the three 96 sample DreamPrep NGS qualification runs were sequenced on MinION flow cells, alongside manually prepared libraries with the same input DNA sequenced on a GridION device. The authors report that the automated and manual runs were as consistent as possible. During sequencing the pore occupancy was equivalent, and the sequence lengths and yields were nearly identical.  

The note reports that Oxford Nanopore’s Ligation Sequencing Kit XL V14 processing multiple DNA samples on the Tecan DreamPrep NGS achieves high yield and raw read sequencing modal accuracy of Q20 (99%) and above. 

“The final library concentrations of the automated library preparations were generally higher and more consistent between individual runs than the final library concentrations prepared by different manual operators, which highlights the benefits of automation in ensuring consistency and reproducibility, by removing human variation,” the authors write.