What is Long Read Sequencing?

Microbiome Insights is now pleased to introduce our newest service: 16S rRNA gene long-read sequencing with  Oxford Nanopore technology. Unlike Illumina, LRS, a third-generation sequencing technology, allows for the analysis of microbial communities by generating long (up to 4kb)  sequences.

Why choose Long read sequencing over traditional short read methods?

Short read sequencing has been the gold standard for genetic profiling for the last two decades. SRS provides read lengths of up to 300 base pairs and is supported by a variety of platforms, the most well known being Illumina (MiSeq, NextSeq, NovaSeq and HiSeq).

So, why choose long read over short read? There are a number of limitations with short read sequencing. When you sequence smaller fragments of DNA as is done in short read sequencing, complex algorithms are required to reconstruct the longer sequence contigs, which can lead to inaccurate and incomplete genomic assemblies. While short phylogenetic markers (e.g., one to a few variable regions of the rrna gene) are usually accurate down to the genus level, the full-length rRNA operon can provide information about the microbiome composition at the species level.

PacBio and Nanopore have developed Long-read sequencing to overcome these challenges. Long read sequencing has the ability to generate reads that are thousands of base pairs in length and can sequence the whole 16s region (v1v8/v1v9) rather than just a section of the genome (16sv4 or 16sv1v3). In conclusion, LRS was named the “Method of the year in 2022” by the journal Nature Methods.

LRS Applications

Long read sequencing has many applications, and can be used across a variety of studies, some of which are included below:

  • Environmental Studies:
    Food microbiome Studies:
  • Human Microbiome Studies:
  • Infectious diseases: