Nanopore sequencing offers advantages in all areas of research. Our offering includes DNA sequencing, as well as RNA and gene expression analysis and future technology for analysing proteins.

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Environmental genomics

Portable, affordable nanopore sequencing technology delivers unique opportunities for environmental research and has been used extensively to analyse environmental DNA (eDNA) and microbiome samples to support biodiversity assessment, ecosystem biomonitoring, pathogen identification, and animal conservation. Long nanopore sequencing reads provide enhanced species identification, while real-time data analysis delivers immediate access to results, whether in the field or in the lab.  

Entirely off-grid and solar-powered eDNA sequencing 

Watch the video
Off-grid sequencing reduced the time from sample-to-data to under 5 hours… Gowers, G.F. et al. Genes 10:11 (2019)

Oxford Nanopore sequencing

Traditional short-read technologies

Sequence at sample source or lab
Portable, real-time sequencing with MinION

  • Powerful, portable devices — starting at just $1,000, including sequencing reagents 
  • Get faster access to results — no more sample shipping delays
  • Minimise potential for sample degradation — reveal the true biology
  • Sequence in low resource environments with limited access to cold storage using the Field Sequencing Kit

Constrained to the lab

Traditional sequencing technologies are typically bulky, cumbersome to ship, and require substantial site infrastructure, making them difficult to deploy in mobile settings or remote locations — where much of the world’s biodiversity is located.

Real-time data streaming
Real-time results

  • Analyse data as it is generated for rapid insights
  • Stop sequencing when sufficient data obtained — wash and reuse flow cell
  • Use intuitive EPI2ME workflows for real-time microbiome analysis

Fixed run time with bulk data delivery

Increased time-to-result and inability to identify workflow errors until it’s too late, plus additional complexities of handing large volumes of bulk data.

Unrestricted read length (>4 Mb achieved)
Long reads offer enhanced taxonomic resolution

  • Get enhanced phylogenetic and taxonomic resolution through metabarcoding with full-length reads of informative loci (e.g. entire 16S and CO1 genes)
  • Assemble complete genomes and plasmids from metagenomic samples — resolving similar species and complex genomic regions

Read length typically 50–300 bp

Short sequencing reads may not span complex genomic regions, reducing the contiguity of metagenome assemblies. Metabarcoding of specific regions of interest with short reads has been reported to provide limited phylogenetic resolution. 

Streamlined workflows
Rapid, streamlined sample prep

Laborious workflows

Typically, lengthy sample preparation requirements and long sequencing run times, reducing workflow efficiency. Base modifications (e.g. methylation) are not detected as standard, with extra preparation steps and additional sequencing runs required.

White paper

Addressing the challenges of metagenomics

Microbial communities can have a profound effect on their environment, for example breaking down pollutants or generating useful by-products. In the same manner, environmental pressures, such as climate change, can impact the constitution of microbial communities. As a result, metagenomic analysis, which interrogates the genetic material of all microorganisms in a given community, not only provides significant insights into the structure and function of microbial communities but can also act as an environmental monitoring system. This White paper explores the challenges of metagenomics, with real-world examples of how they are now being addressed through the use of nanopore sequencing technology.

Get more environmental sequencing content, including eDNA, metabarcoding, and metagenomics publications, posters, and videos, in our Resource centre, or visit our Portable sequencing page.

Supporting rapid sequencing of critically endangered species, anywhere, by anyone is a pilot-stage project designed to support faster, more localised sequencing of critically endangered species, by enabling biologists to rapidly sequence those species close to the sample’s origin, using the latest ultra-long read approaches.

Data-rich, de novo whole-genome assemblies will be enabled through the provision of consumable support that can be used with Oxford Nanopore sequencers, on the condition that the data generated will be openly shared with the scientific community. supports the sequencing of species from the IUCN Red List, specifically the critically endangered and extinct in the wild categories (more than 8000 species)

Case study

In-field biodiversity monitoring using the portable MinION

The analysis of eDNA and environmental metabarcoding can provide powerful insights into biodiversity, conservation, contamination, invasive species, and potentially harmful pathogens. In this paper, Krehenwinkel et al. provide a comprehensive review of how portable, real-time nanopore sequencing is being deployed to support biomonitoring and biodiversity assessment in a range of environments. 

'it is not surprising that past years have seen an increased application of nanopore sequencing for biodiversity explorations, with researchers from around the world capitalizing on its simplicity, accessibility, cost effectiveness and mobility'

Krehenwinkel et al. Genes 10:11(2019)

Discover more about the benefits of nanopore sequencing for species identification, metagenomics, and whole genome assembly in our applications pages. 

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Scalable sequencing for environmental genomics

From portable yet powerful Flongle and MinION devices to the flexible, high-throughput benchtop GridION and PromethION platforms — scale your sequencing to match your specific environmental sample sequencing requirements.

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Nanopore sequencing yield chart

Recommended for environmental genomics


A powerful, portable, and affordable all-in-one sequencing and analysis device. Perform real-time sequencing at sample source for the fastest access to results. Ideal for in-field or lab-based analysis of eDNA, metabarcoding, and metagenomics.


Portable, USB-powered, automated sample extraction and library preparation — use predefined or custom protocols.

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Adapting MinION and GridION to run our lowest cost flow cells — ideal for low throughput metabarcoding projects. 

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All the benefits of real-time nanopore sequencing in a pocket-sized, USB-powered device — available from just $1,000, including sequencing reagents.

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A compact benchtop device offering powerful integrated compute with on-demand access to 5 independent MinION Flow Cells — run multiple eDNA, metabarcoding, or metagenomics projects on a single device. 

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PromethION 2 & 2 Solo

Offering two independent PromethION Flow Cells for low-cost access to high-output sequencing - ideal for smaller sample number whole-genome and transcriptome projects. Available to preorder now.

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PromethION 24

Offering 24 independent, high-capacity flow cells and powerful, integrated compute, PromethION 24 delivers flexible access to terabases of sequencing data — ideal for high-throughput labs and highly multiplexed samples.

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PromethION 48

Our most powerful platform, offering flexible, high-throughput sequencing using up to 48 independent, high-capacity flow cells — complete genomic and transcriptomic characterisation of large sample numbers. 

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