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Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Service Provider Registry

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How to find the right Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Service and Bioinformatic Service Provider?

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Today there are numerous commercial next generation sequencing service providers on the market. Many offer basic data analysis or even sophisticated bioinformatic services. For more specific data analysis numerous bioinformatic service provider exist. Furthermore, a number of scientific institutes and organisations offer NGS services via their corresponding genetic or bioinformatic core facilities. Some core facilities also offer NGS resource sharing.

The NGS Hub operates one of the most comprehensive database of bioinformatic and NGS service provider including services specialized in PRECISION MEDICINE. 


Next Generation Sequencing in Precision Medicine for Hereditary Diseases and Cancer Genetics Testing

Precision Medicine is a new field that considers the individual conditions of a patient in order to find the best treatment methods. This included the behavior, lifestyle and environmental factors, one of the most important individual condition is the genetic variability. The major NGS application is human genetics including screening of cancer and hereditary diseases. Therefore, a large number of clinics, diagnostic service laboratories, and private companies implemented NGS targeted gene sequencing protocols for human genetics. 

In the following section you will find some recommendations and guidelines that will help you to find the best service provider.


Global Distribution of NGS Service and Bioinformatic Service Provider

Most NGS service provider are located in north America followed by the UK and Central Europe. Additionally, in Australia and parts of Asia (e. g. China and South Korea) the number of sequencing service providers is increasing.

A similar distribution can be observed for bioinformatic service providers. Whereas India and Spain are particularly known to offer a wide range of bioinformatic services.


Which NGS Services and Methods Fits Which NGS Application?

Major NGS applications are human diagnostics including cancer screening, microbiology (virology, bacteriology, infection diagnostics, microbiome studies, biotechnology, and environmental microbiology), animal genetics (breeding), plant genetics (breeding) and pharmaceutical biotechnology (drug and vaccine development and production).

Different NGS technologies, workflows, protocols and methods are applied for different applications. In human genetics and precision medicine almost all kind of sequencing methods (exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, transcriptome sequencing, microbiome sequencing, amplicon sequencing, RNA-sequencing, methyl-sequencing, ChIP-sequencing etc.) will be applied with more and more focus on targeted gene sequencing realized by the development of targeted NGS gene panels. For more information about NGS sequencing methods and applications we refer to our NGS glossary.

For microbial diagnostics, a few targeted NGS gene panels are available, for example for HCV and HIV screening and treatment decision making. If there are no specific and sensitive targeted NGS gene panels available, meta genome analysis is an often used NGS method in virology. The 16S rRNA method is widely applied for bacterial diagnosis and analysis.

In plant and animal breeding still a number of different methods are utilized. As long as there are not enough genetic data about plant varieties and animal breeds available, whole genome sequencing and whole exome sequencing are widely used to gather these information. If more information about genes and its phenotypes is available targeted gene panels can be used in the so called genotyping by sequencing (GBS) method.

In research projects many additional NGS methods are applied for sequencing of certain RNA types, for single cell sequencing, and for mitochondrial DNA sequencing.

Bioinformatics services provider offer specialized services such as general data processing, DNA-Seq, RNA-Seq and Chip-Seq analysis, complex data analysis, reference daatabase development and database search optimization, analysis workflow optimization, workflow management, cloud services and software development. These services are usually not offered by general NGS service providers. 


Which NGS Technology Fits Which Application?

For Human Diagnostics

Different NGS technology supplier developed specific solutions for human diagnostics, Illumina lately launched the MiniSeq, Qiagen lauched the GeneReader, and IonTorrent launched the Ion S5™. These sequencing technologies enable simplified workflows and partially integrate data analysis solutions for certain targeted gene panel applications.

 

For Large Data Sets

For complex analysis that require very large data output, high coverage rates or ultra high throughput sequencing the Illumina HiSeq and the new Rovolocity platform will suite these application best.

The second generation sequencing technologies have some limitations such as the maximal sequencing read length. Short sequencing reads hamper data analysis and genome assembling in highly repetitive genome regions such as telomere ends of chromosomes.

 

For Complex Genome Regions

The so called third generation sequencing technologies from Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore Technologies enable sequencing of very long reads in real time without prior target amplification. This technologies are especially useful for sequencing multi repetitive regions or for sequencing of a viral genome in one read in order to estimate viral haplotypes or to perform quasi species analysis. Often third generation sequencing technologies are applied in combination with second generation sequencing technologies such as Roche 454, Illumina or Ion Torrent for confirmation of data accuracy.


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