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MGI Demonstrates Value of DNA Co-Barcoding for More Precise Genome Sequencing


MGI Welcomes Collaborators for Diverse Genomes Project, using Single Tube Long Fragment Read (stLFR) Approach to Reduce Cost and Error Rates

SEOUL, April 29, 2019 – MGI, a subsidiary of BGI Group, is expanding applications for a new sequencing solution called single tube long fragment read (stLFR) technology, which achieves affordable sequencing, haplotyping, and de novo assembly using unique co-barcoded second-generation sequencing reads from long DNA molecules.

MGI announced plans to utilize the stLFR solution for a Diverse Genomes Project at the Human Genome Meeting 2019 in Seoul, a platform to highlight recent progress in genome science and technologies and translating genomics research into applications. As a global leader in innovative sequencing platforms, MGI is committed to developing and producing advanced genetic sequencing instruments, consumables and reagents and fostering the industry’s progress.

The stLFR technology, invented by MGI’s Senior Director of Research Brock Peters and Chief Scientific Officer Radoje Drmanac, works by adding the same barcode sequence to sub-fragments of the original long DNA molecule (DNA co-barcoding). To achieve this, stLFR uses microbeads to create millions of miniaturized barcoding reactions in a single tube. Overcoming the limitations of short read lengths, stLFR enables high quality small and large structural variant calling, phasing of over 99% of the human genome, de novo assembly, and other long fragment applications.

“We believe stLFR has the potential to be a single library solution to near perfect genome sequencing,” said Brock Peters, MGI Senior Director of Research,

who presented details of the technology at HGM on April 26.

As stLFR is a powerful tool for enabling de novo assembly, or assembling a genome without mapping it to an existing reference genome, MGI plans to apply the new technology to its Diverse Genomes Project, an effort to build a set of better reference genomes of humans by including data from more diverse populations around the world. Peters said he

welcomes collaborators to participate in the project, and that the data generated would be made freely and publicly available.

“Our goal is to create extremely high quality de novo assemblies of human genomes across diverse populations,” he said.

The stLFR concept was introduced at HGM in 2018. Since then, Peters and his team have started to use stLFR to analyze many different genomes, including the de novo assemblies of the tanoak tree and his dog Jackson. In addition, Peters announced that an analysis of stLFR data is now published in the journal Genome Research.

MGI’s stLFR solution, including the MGIEasy stLFR Library Prep Kit based on MGI’s high-throughput DNBSEQTM NGS platform, is now commercially available.

Also at the HGM meeting, MGI announced the commercial availability of its MGIEasy PCR-Free DNA Library Prep Set, which is specifically designed for WGS library preparation without PCR amplification for sequencing on MGI’s high-throughput platform. Combined with MGI’s DNBSEQTM technology, the PCR-free NGS workflow results in no error accumulation and produces higher data accuracy. Compatible with multiple species types, such as human, animal, plant and microorganisms, it offers fast, simple and automated workflow, with no CG bias, higher coverage uniformity and higher performance of variant detection.

MGI also announced the Asia Pacific launch of its Global Sequencer User Program (SUP), an open platform for cooperation on the development of genetic technologies and

applications. The program includes customized products, services and support, and co-marketing. LAS (Life is Art of Science Co., Ltd.), a company working on genomic research and developing NGS-based clinical diagnostic applications in South Korea, became the first company in Asia Pacific to join the Global Sequencer User Program.

About MGI

MGI Tech Co., Ltd. (MGI), a subsidiary of BGI Group, is committed to enabling effective and affordable healthcare solutions for all. Based on its proprietary technology, MGI produces sequencing devices, equipment, consumables and reagents to support life science research, medicine and healthcare. MGI’s multi-omics platforms include genetic sequencing, mass spectrometry and medical imaging. Providing real-time, comprehensive, life-long solutions, its mission is to develop and promote advanced life science

tools for future healthcare.

About BGI Group

BGI was founded in 1999 with the vision of using genomics to benefit mankind and has since become one of the largest genomics organizations in the world. With a focus on research and applications in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, conservation and environmental fields, BGI has a proven track record of innovative, high profile research, which has

generated more than 2,000 publications. BGI’s goal is to make state-of-the-art genomics highly accessible to the global research community and clinical markets by integrating the industry’s broadest array of leading technologies, including BGI's own sequencing platform, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI also offers a wide portfolio of transformative genetic testing products across major diseases, enabling medical providers and patients worldwide to realize the promise of genomics-based diagnostics and personalized healthcare.

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