Developed over the last few years by a team led by world-leading computational biologist and Longas co-founder and CSO Professor Aaron Darling, Morphoseq is a disruptive technology designed to dramatically improve the long read performance of industry-standard NGS platforms, for increased accuracy and cost efficiency.
In a presentation entitled ‘Introducing Morphoseq: high accuracy long reads from short read platforms’ on 21 May 4.30 MDT (22 May 8.30am Sydney), Professor Aaron Darling provided an overview of the technology and its development, together with results from use of the technology on Illumina and BGI platforms.
The founders of Longas from the ithree institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) had been exploring new ways to create long sequence reads. Originally, driven by a need for better 16S rDNA sequence-based resolution for microbial community profiling, the team quickly recognised the much broader applicability of their invention to increasing the effective read length from established NGS platforms.
Results presented at the meeting demonstrate long reads up to 15kbp with modal accuracy 100% and 92% of reads >Q40 when measured against independent reference genomes. These results, on a set of 60 multiplexed bacterial isolates show that genomic coverage is highly uniform with the data yielding finished-quality closed circle assemblies for bacterial genomes across the entire GC content range.
The Morphoseq chemistry works by creating unique identifiers for every long DNA template molecule in a sample via highly uniform random mutagenesis.Short read sequences can then be assigned to long templates, with the sophisticated data processing algorithms reconstructing the original unmutated long template molecules. It thus transforms short read sequencers into ‘virtual long read’ sequencers, enabling finished-quality genome assemblies with high accuracy, including resolution of difficult-to-assemble genomic regions.
Morphoseq works with as little as 10ng of DNA and has the flexibility to scale to large genomes and large sample batches.
“Morphoseq makes high quality long read DNA sequencing accessible and cost-effective. It delivers highly accurate long DNA sequences at a fraction of the cost of existing long read platforms. With modest DNA input requirements and a standard short read DNA sequencer, Morphoseq can produce finished de novogenome assemblies, including through repetitive regions in genomes such as tandem repeats and transposable elements. Sample preparation can be carried out with standard molecular biology consumables and equipment, and our cloud-based end-to-end analysis pipeline returns best in class long reads at the push of a button” said Professor Darling.
Further studies have demonstrated the ability to accurately assemble and phase these DNA reads into individual chromosomes for humans as well as microorganisms, with important scientific, clinical and public health applications.
Having recently launched, after developing the technology in stealth mode for the past few years, Longas is seeking partners and collaborators to support commercialization.
Nick McCooke, renowned NGS leader, leads the company as CEO. The Company has an extensive portfolio of international patent filings covering the Morphoseq technology.