Summerer D, Wu H, Haase B, Cheng Y, Schracke N, Stähler CF, Chee MS, Stähler PF, Beier M
The lack of efficient high-throughput methods for enrichment of specific sequences from genomic DNA represents a key bottleneck in exploiting the enormous potential of next-generation sequencers. Such methods would allow for a systematic and targeted analysis of relevant genomic regions. Recent studies reported sequence enrichment using a hybridization step to specific DNA capture probes as a possible solution to the problem. However, so far no method has provided sufficient depths of coverage for reliable base calling over the entire target regions. We report a strategy to multiply the enrichment performance and consequently improve depth and breadth of coverage for desired target sequences by applying two iterative cycles of hybridization with microfluidic Geniom biochips. Using this strategy, we enriched and then sequenced the cancer-related genes BRCA1 and TP53 and a set of 1000 individual dbSNP regions of 500 bp using Illumina technology. We achieved overall enrichment factors of up to 1062-fold and average coverage depths of 470-fold. Combined with high coverage uniformity, this resulted in nearly complete consensus coverages with >86% of target region covered at 20-fold or higher. Analysis of SNP calling accuracies after enrichment revealed excellent concordance, with the reference sequence closely mirroring the previously reported performance of Illumina sequencing conducted without sequence enrichment.