Application of the Flongle to protect UK plant health

Fera Science Ltd analyse plants and plant products for potentially harmful organisms, spanning invertebrates, fungi, bacteria, and nematodes. The use of Flongle has been ‘a real game changer’, enabling the on-demand sequencing of samples instead of having to wait to batch samples on a traditional sequencing platform. Identification of Phytoplasma on Flongle via 16S + rapid barcoding possible ‘within a day’, with sufficient reads generated in <1h; current method requires sending off samples and takes 3-4 days. Flongle sequencing enables identification of beetles from frass, where larvae are not present. Full-length CO1 sequencing of insects with long nanopore reads produced ‘much better species-level identification’ than with short-read sequencing. ‘Flongle flow cells, due to their cost and output are really useful tools for rapid plant health monitoring’.

Authors: Ian Adams