Endpoint: 1000 Genomes

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) 1000 Genomes Project research consortium will help to further develop and refine next-generation DNA sequencing, as discussed in the January 31 issue of IBO. On June 11, the NIH announced that the three largest providers of next-generation sequencing technology will formally take part in the Project. Applied Biosystems, Illumina and 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company, will each sequence 75 billion DNA bases for the Project’s pilot phase. The data to be provided by the companies have an estimated value of $700,000. Applied Biosystems’ contribution will also include 200 billion bases as part of its collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine. In April, Baylor purchased six of Applied Biosystems’ SOLiD Systems for use as part of the Project.

This spring, The Beijing Genomics Institute, another Project participate, purchased 11 Illumina Genome Analyzers for a total of 17 and announced the installation of two SOLiD Systems. Washington University School of Medicine, yet another Project member, acquired five of 454’s Genome Sequencer FLX Systems in February, bringing its total to eight. Neither the Institute nor Washington University specified if the systems would be used for the 1000 Genomes Project.

The NIH stated that the three sequencing companies will also participate in other Project phases. The 1000 Genomes Project’s Steering Committee includes executives from all three companies: Francisco de la Vega, Applied Biosystems’ vice president for SOLiD System Applications and Bioinformatics; Illumina’s Chief Scientist David Bentley; and Michael Engholm, vice president of R&D for 454 Life Sciences. The 1000 Genomes Project has already deposited approximately 240 billion bases of genetic information with the European Bioinformatics Institute and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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