Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Illumina Error Profile for Metagenomic Sequencing

Microbiology, and especially microbial ecology, has become increasingly dependent on advanced DNA and RNA sequencing technologies. This is most evident with the increasing popularity of the human microbiome and its various impacts on human health. While using DNA sequencing sometimes appears relatively simple (a result of the great efforts made to simplify the user experience), it is actually still a very complicated technique that requires a lot of thought and skill. One aspect that genomic scientists (whether focusing on human or microbial DNA) must always consider is the bias introduced by the sequencing platform itself. This week I want to focus on a recently published manuscript that describes the  sequencing error profile associated with some of the most popular Illumina platforms.