Ferguson Scott et al.
Long-read sequencing platforms offered by Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) allow native DNA containing epigenetic modifications to be directly sequenced, but can be limited by lower per-base accuracies. A key step post-sequencing is basecalling, the process of converting raw electrical signals produced by the sequencing device into nucleotide sequences. This is challenging as current basecallers are primarily based on mixtures of model species for training. Here we utilise both ONT PromethION and higher accuracy PacBio Sequel II HiFi sequencing on two plants, Phebalium stellatum and Xanthorrhoea johnsonii, to train species-specific basecaller models with the aim of improving per-base accuracy. We investigate sequencing accuracies achieved by ONT basecallers and assess accuracy gains by training single-species and species-specific basecaller models. We also evaluate accuracy gains from ONT’s improved flowcells (R10.4, FLO-PRO112) and sequencing kits (SQK-LSK112). For the truth dataset for both model training and accuracy assessment, we developed highly accurate, contiguous diploid reference genomes with PacBio Sequel II HiFi reads.