Purchase of Illumina NovaSeq 6000
Florida State University is now the home of the most advanced DNA sequencer in the state of Florida, allowing FSU researchers access to genome sequencing at a scale and cost never before available.
Located in the College of Medicine’s Translational Science Laboratory, the Illumina NovaSeq 6000 is the platform expected to enable the sequencing of a human genome for one hundred dollars, while producing the sequences of forty-eight human genomes in each forty hour run. To put that in perspective, COM’s previous DNA sequencer, which was state-of-the art when it was purchased five years ago, required four days to produce a human genome at a cost of approximately $3500, while the sequencing of the first human genome in the late 1990s by the publicly-funded Human Genome Project took almost fifteen years and cost nearly three billion dollars.
The decrease in cost and increase in speed for DNA sequencing is a result of massively parallel operations in modern sequencers. The devices used in the Human Genome Project could sequence approximately one hundred DNA fragments simultaneously. In contrast, the NovaSeq 6000 is capable of sequencing up to twenty billion DNA fragments at the same time.
In addition to enabling rapid and inexpensive sequencing of human genomes, the NovaSeq also allows FSU researchers to perform de novo sequencing of organisms whose genomes are unknown, to determine the extent to which each of an organism’s genes are turned on, to measure how closely related different organisms are, and to precisely determine the three dimensional structure of an organism’s chromosomes, along with many other applications.
The purchase and operation of the NovaSeq is a collaboration between many groups on campus. Funding was provided by Professor of Biology Peter Fraser, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the FSU Office of Research, in addition to the College of Medicine. The Translational Science Laboratory will operate the sequencer and will pay for its maintenance and repair.