Yang Y, Hang J
An unconventional approach for DNA fragmentation was investigated to explore its feasibility as an alternative to the existing DNA fragmentation techniques for next-generation DNA sequencing application. Current methods are based on strong-force liquid shearing or specialized enzymatic treatments. There are shortcomings for these platforms yet to be addressed, including aerosolization of genomic materials, which may result in the cross-contamination and biohazards; the difficulty in multiplexing; and the potential sequence biases. In this proof-of-concept study, we investigated the microwave irradiation as a simple, unbiased, and easy-to-multiplex way to fragment genomic DNA randomly. In addition, heating DNA at high temperature was attempted for the same purpose and for comparison. Adaptive focused acoustic sonication was used as the control. The yield and functionality for the DNA fragments and DNA fragment libraries were analyzed to assess the feasibility and use of the proposed approach. Both microwave irradiation and thermal heating can fragment genomic DNA to the size ranges suitable for next-generation sequencing (NGS) shotgun library preparation. However, both treatments caused severe reduction in PCR amplification efficiency, which led to low production in emulsion PCR (emPCR). The result was improved by amplification prior to emPCR. Further improvements, such as DNA strand repairing, are needed for the method to be applied practically in NGS.