Whole genome mapping

The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) is one of the first research Institutes in the UK to use the genome mapping Irys System technology by BioNano Genomics, adding to its existing Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) suite at TGAC.

The Irys System will be initially used to improve the genome assembly of the British Ash tree sample from the Earth Trust, as part of a collaboration with Queen Mary University of London (UK) for research into the species’ disease. It will also be used for TGAC’s bread wheat genome sequencing project to improve the DNA make-up of this important crop. The work on the wheat genome will help to accelerate breeding, with a direct impact on increasing the crop and its yields, contributing to global food security.

Irys System technology has been used to generate genome maps for 85 different organisms

Launched in 2013, the Irys System technology has been used to generate genome maps for 85 different organisms, mapping the critical structural variation of crops, vertebrates and human cancer genomes. These high-resolution genome maps are essential for the correct assembly of DNA sequences, the completion of large genomes and the understanding of genomic variation.

The new mapping technology makes inaccessible genomes accessible, where long ‘reads’ of DNA molecules can be uncoiled and confined for single-molecule imaging throughout the strain’s repetitive regions. The Irys System preserves the sample’s valuable information and allows researchers to directly observe the genome’s structural variants.

Matt Clark, Plant and Microbial Genomics Group Leader at TGAC, said: “Genome mapping is a powerful weapon in our arsenal to turn short DNA sequences into true depictions of whole chromosome pieces of DNA as they actually exists in nature. Assemblies of this quality are more useful to researchers and breeders, and ultimately the public.”

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