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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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Plant research

Offering ultra-long sequencing reads (up to 4 Mb), nanopore technology enables accurate assembly of large, highly repetitive plant genomes — resolving structural variants, transposons, and transgene insertions — to deliver new insights into plant biology, evolution, and breeding strategies. Base modifications (e.g. methylation) can be identified alongside nucleotide sequence with no additional protocol steps or expense, while the facility to sequence full-length transcripts supports enhanced gene annotation and gene expression studies.

Telomere-to-telomere gapless banana chromosomes

Read the paper
…plant chromosomes can now be assembled in a single contig, gapless and from telomere to telomere… Belser, C. et al. bioRxiv 440017 (2021)

Oxford Nanopore sequencing

Traditional short-read technologies

Unrestricted read length (>4 Mb achieved)
Long-read sequencing

Read length typically 50–300 bp

Short reads do not typically span entire regions of interest, including repeats and structural variants, or full-length RNA transcripts, resulting in fragmented assemblies and ambiguous transcript isoform identification.

Direct, amplification-free protocols
Amplification-free sequencing

Amplification required

Amplification can introduce bias — reducing uniformity of coverage with the potential for coverage gaps — and removes base modifications, necessitating additional sample prep, sequencing runs, and expense.

Flexible and on-demand
Flexible, on-demand sequencing

  • Scale to your throughput needs
  • Sequence in the lab or field with portable Flongle and MinION
  • Tackle large plant genome projects with flexible, high-throughput GridION and PromethION devices
  • No sample batching required

Limited flexibility

Platform costs and infrastructure requirements can limit global accessibility. Sample batching may also be required for optimal efficiency, potentially delaying results.

Streamlined workflows
Streamlined sequencing workflows

Laborious workflows

Typically, lengthy sample preparation requirements and long sequencing run times, reducing workflow efficiency.

Real-time data streaming
Immediate access to data

  • Get immediate access to results for time critical applications such as plant pathogen identification
  • Stop sequencing when sufficient data generated — wash and reuse flow cell
  • Use simple EPI2ME workflows for real-time microbiome and plant pathogen 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.

White paper

Closing the gap in plant genomes

This review outlines how researchers are addressing the challenges of producing high-quality, highly contiguous plant genome assemblies through the use of nanopore sequencing technology — enabling new opportunities in plant conservation and breeding. Specific case studies cover the complete characterisation of transgenic lines, assembling large plant genomes, elucidating the role of SV in phenotypic traits, and the value of full-length transcripts for enhanced genome annotation and gene expression studies.  

Get more plant sequencing information, including case studies, getting started guides, and videos, in our Resource centre.

Case study

The importance of structural variation in crop breeding

Brassica napus (oilseed rape) is a major oil crop worldwide, with widespread application in cooking, biofuel, and animal feed. The 1.2 Gb allotetraploid B. napus genome displays extensive gene and chromosome-level structural variation (SV), which underlies important phenotypic traits, such as flowering time, disease resistance, and seed quality. Precise resolution of these SVs could support improvement of this economically important crop. Researchers at the Justus Liebig University in Germany, utilised long nanopore sequencing reads to fully characterise and compare SVs across four diverse B. napus lines. Initial analysis allowed correlation of average SV length with specific flowering phenotypes, while SV diversity provided further insights into the breeding history of the crop.

'Our results suggest that simple reference-based resequencing and alignment with long reads can uncover a new dimension of genetic and genomic diversity associated with important traits in crop plants'

Chawla, H.S. et al. Biotechnol J. 19:2 (2021)

From enhanced plant genome assembly to support conservation and crop breeding, through to the analysis of gene expression, base modifications, and plant pathogens, get comprehensive information in our Investigations pages.

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Scalable sequencing for plant research

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

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Nanopore sequencing yield chart

Recommended for plant sequencing

PromethION 24

Combining up to 24 independently addressable, high-capacity flow cells with powerful, integrated compute, PromethION 24 delivers flexible, on-demand access to terabases of sequencing data — ideal for cost-effective, high-throughput sequencing of large plant genomes, transgenic lines, and seed bank samples, plus isoform-level transcriptome analyses.

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 numbers of plant lines.

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From genome assembly to gene expression, run multiple experiments on-demand using five independent MinION Flow Cells — perfect for busy labs running multiple projects.

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Access the benefits of nanopore technology from just $1,000 — suitable for small plant genomes, targeted sequencing, and gene expression studies.

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Integrated sequencing and analysis in a powerful handheld device — suitable for small plant genomes, targeted sequencing, and gene expression studies.

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Adapting MinION and GridION for smaller, routine tests and analyses. Low plex targeted sequencing, RNA isoform analysis, and quality control applications.

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Automated sample extraction and library preparation.

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