Oxford Nanopore and Tecan build alliance to create automated, seamless and fully compatible nanopore sequencing library preparation for any-length fragments of native DNA/RNA

Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc (Oxford Nanopore) and the Tecan Group today announce their collaboration to drive easier high-throughput nanopore library preparation in an automated, hands-free fashion. The result is a fully walkaway automated workflow for Oxford Nanopore’s Ligation Sequencing Kit XL V14 protocol (LSK114) with Tecan’s DreamPrep® NGS solutions. The LSK114 protocol allows for any fragment length of DNA to be sequenced, which can range from cell-free DNA to amplicons to any length DNA fragments, from 200 base pairs to more than 100kb or even Mb. This is a major advance over traditional sequencing platforms and protocols that can only sequence short fragments typically in the range of 300 to 600 base pairs.

Sequencing native, long fragments of DNA is beneficial to generate more comprehensive insights into the genome – which often contain methylation, repetitive patterns of sequences or larger-scale genetic variants – as well as reaching parts of the genome that cannot be resolved by using traditional short read technologies in the same single sequencing run. Having complete genome assemblies is necessary to ensure better understanding of chromosome function, human disease, and genomic variation, which will translate in future to better prediction and management of diseases. Therefore, by combining highly reproducible automated library preparation of short and/or long fragments and high yields of genomic data, it becomes feasible to reliably identify a comprehensive map of genetic alterations, conduct accurate phasing, resolve repeated sequences, and measure DNA methylation, all in a single sequencing run. Being able to deploy the same workflow on shorter, native fragments, such as cell-free DNA, opens opportunities in methylation analysis and exploration of the complete cell-free DNA fragments in a sample, the ‘fragmentome’.

“At Tecan we scale healthcare innovation, from life science to the clinic, and our partnership with Oxford Nanopore enables us to do just that,” said Dr. Klaus Lun, Tecan Executive Vice President and Head of the Life Sciences Business Division. “We bring push-button, walk-away convenience to high-throughput library preparation workflows, enabling scientists to focus on new discoveries instead of tedious manual work. Combining our expertise in automation and high-quality library preparation with Oxford Nanopore sequencing and its capabilities around any-length reads, native DNA/RNA and real time sequencing, has implications in multiple fields, from population genetics to cancer research and personalized medicine.”

Oxford Nanopore CEO Gordon Sanghera added, “Our goal at Oxford Nanopore is to deliver affordable and accessible plug-and-play platforms for biological analyses that are currently performed, and open new applications that have a profound, positive impact on improving our understanding of genetic alterations linked to disease. Our technology now provides an automated solution in one platform, providing comprehensive genomic data that includes methylation, structural variation and copy number variation, as well as standard SNP and SNV, calling for all biological questions including methylation in the same sequencing run. Our collaboration with Tecan is scaling accessible life sciences innovation with a global partner, providing automated seamless plug-and-play solutions to our customers in quicker, higher quality results that save time, cost and effort.”

The collaboration between Tecan and Oxford Nanopore further expands Tecan’s growing portfolio of solutions for automated NGS library preparation. Tecan’s liquid handlers are compatible with all Oxford Nanopore devices, – from Flongle to PromethION 48, as well as the PromethION 2 (P2) Solo high-output sequencing device. This gives the potential to greatly expand access to accurate, fast and accessible sequencing for human genomics and other larger datasets.

Oxford Nanopore’s technology enables base-modification analysis to be performed alongside nucleotide sequencing on the same single read without the need to run multiple sequencing experiments. Therefore, unlike traditional technologies, no additional complex library preparation with (for example bisulfite sequencing for methylation) is required, and epigenetic modification analysis can be performed across the whole genome during the experiment. Tecan automated library preparation systems transform time-consuming and error-prone procedures into simple, robust user experiences. The integrated combination of Oxford Nanopore and Tecan technologies is intended to enhance true load-and-go DNA and RNA sequencing library preparation with proven liquid handling technology, reagent kits that are compatible with automation, and intuitive user interfaces that will allow set-up for walkaway library prep runs in the DreamPrep NGS.

Protocol Ligation Sequencing Kit and DreamPrep Technical Note

A technical note released today is proof of concept and demonstrates the speed, accessibility, and automated consistency the collaboration delivers for a variety of applications. The note shows a use case where the Oxford Nanopore’s Ligation Sequencing Kit XL V14 processing multiple DNA samples on the Tecan DreamPrep NGS achieves high yield and raw read sequencing modal accuracy of Q20 (99%) and above.

Attendees of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) International Conference and Exhibition (San Diego, February 25-March 1, 2023) will see a preview of these data and will have an opportunity to discuss the objectives of both companies in their joint efforts to create protocols allowing for more scalable and higher throughput sequencing.

The Technical Note can be accessed here.