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Industry Insights on Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Applications


Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has cumulative benefits compared to other technologies in terms of accuracy, high resolution, cost-effectiveness, and unparalleled sequencing pace in genome research. To date, NGS has been expansively applied in multiple ways, including whole-genome sequencing, target sequencing, gene expression profiling, transcriptome sequencing, epigenomic sequencing, etc., to boost biomedical and biological research. Nevertheless, the large amount of data produced by the NGS presents a big challenge.

NGS in Multi-Omics Studies

Next-Generation Sequencing is also prominently applied in various multi-omics studies and research. The most significant application of NGS is the genome sequencing of discovered genomes to identify crucial mutations or genetic polymorphism in known genes. As a contrivance in applied epigenomics, NGS may also be used to analyze and examine broad-scale DNA methylation. The use of next-generation sequencing was crucial in the research of DNA-protein interactions and the location of the protein-coding sequence. It is primarily used as a whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing apparatus to identify somatic mutations like SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) or InDels (insertion-deletion mutations) detected by sequencing the whole genome. This methodology has been instrumental in identifying various somatic mutations in different types of cancers. Combining NGS with whole-exome sequencing is primarily utilized to analyze exon regions. Bisulfite Sequencing (such as WGBS, Whole Genome Bisulfite Sequencing / RRBS, Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing) is commonly used in epigenetics to identify base methylation sites. ChIP-Seq (Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing) combines immunological methods to identify transcription targets, analysis, and factors of histone modifications. NGS techniques are used with RNA-sequencing procedures in Transcriptomics, correctly reflecting mRNA sequencing and non-coding RNA sequencings, such as lncRNA, small RNA, and others. This multi-lateral method aids in the identification of fusion genes and splice variants as well as indicating or discovering gene expression. Omics is a multidisciplinary field covering genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Each of these fields offers the possibility of understanding and viewing biology from a global perspective in unprecedented ways. Combined with High-throughput sequencing technologies, it can quickly provide multi-level intracellular processes via large-scale omics data sets, thereby accelerating the advancement of various research fields.

NGS and Agriculture

The applications of Next Generation Sequencing in agriculture research are wide-ranging, from livestock to crop breeding. The data is utilized in the research and study of animal husbandry and agriculture, respectively. Molecular breeding primarily involves molecular marker-assisted breeding as well as gene editing breeding. The previous genomic sequencing is used to locate DNA molecular markers instrumental to vital agronomic attributes in crops and to acquire direct target selection attributes at the genotype level. With advanced innovation in NGS technology, molecular marker-assisted selection has transformed into whole-genome selection.

NGS and Microorganisms

Besides livestock and crop breeding, NGS offers an exponential advantage in terms of microbial sequencing. This, in turn, enables the discovery of new, more effective antibiotics or metabolites generated by microorganisms that may easily incorporate into veterinary and human medicine. Next-Generation Sequencing also plays a vital role in identifying new bioactive components that potentially may reveal broader possibilities for its biosynthesis. Moreover, NGS enables better insights into understanding the biosynthesis of microorganisms isolated from various habitats, which can be considerably challenging to manipulate and even harder to culture in the conventional laboratory. This bacterium species is used in the development of new polyketide antibiotics. Another remarkable achievement of next-generation sequencing can be attributed to decoding the entire sequence of the bacteriophage using antimicrobial components that can be utilized to combat various bacterial diseases.

NGS and Endangered Species Protection

Another colossal utilization of NGS is to sequence animal species close to extinction, extinct species or organisms, and human ancestors. One major project is directly associated with the genomic sequencing of the woolly mammoth. This provided the scientific world with considerable and critical insight into the fascinating evolution of elephants and mammoths.

NGS in Drug Discovery

Nothing is more critical for pharmaceuticals right now than discovering newer, more effective medicines, particularly biological drugs. Biomarkers
are one of the most important aspects of creating biological medicines. They can reduce the overall cost of traditional drug target screening, improve the success rate of clinical treatment trials in patients with certain genome types, and expedite prognostic assessments. The in-depth sequencing of large-scale samples (usually over a dozen) of patients with the same and/or comparable diseases to uncover association studies and assessments between related or similar diseases is known as drug targeting discovery using a high rate of sequencing.

NGS in ‘Big Health’

Big health refers to scientific methodologies for managing healthy people throughout their entire life cycle ‒ individuals with healthy physiological functions and a normal body structure ‒ such as good reproductive health, disease prevention, and lifestyle management (including sports, nutrition, etc. skincare). Big data based on genomic methodologies and innovation can help streamline the health management of healthy people and groups, enabling accurate medical management. In essence, using NGS technologies on molecular biomarkers such as genes, precision-based health quantification, and prediction of individuals and groups via increased sequencing rates and other technologies ‒ together with multi-omics and phenotypic data- will drastically help prevent diseases.

Ground-breaking efforts of Novogene in the NGS Industry

Novogene is at the forefront of cutting-edge genomic services, providing revolutionary Next Generation Sequencing, NGS, solutions, and bioinformatics proficiencies in the world’s most excellent capacity. Combining this with the release of Falcon by Novogene in 2020, a cutting-edge delivery platform can significantly enhance the intelligence and automation of various sequencing processes. We’re proud to say that Falcon is the first fully optimized, automated, and intelligent delivery system in the NGS industry. It provides streamlined, precision-based, and flexible sequencing. Moreover, the Falcon can process 2,000 to 3,000 samples per day, effectively reducing your overall production cycle by an average of 60%. The Novogene Falcon has set a new benchmark for automated and intelligent delivery systems in the NGS industry. Collaborating with an abundance of prestigious and renowned institutions worldwide, the Novogene global team has served over 4,000 clients across 70 countries on six continents. Providing unparalleled data quality and a quick turnaround time to all our customers, Novogene prides itself on using state-of-the-art innovations and technologies from Illumina, Pacific Biosciences, Oxford Nanopore, and Life Technologies located at our ground-breaking research and sequencing facilities in California (US), Cambridge (UK), Singapore, and China.