Small Whole-Genome Sequencing

Introduction to Small Whole-Genome Sequencing

Small genome sequencing (≤ 5 Mb) involves sequencing the entire genome of a bacterium, virus, or other microbe, and then comparing the sequence to a known reference. Sequencing small microbial genomes can be useful for food testing in public health, infectious disease surveillance, molecular epidemiology studies, and environmental metagenomics.

Small Whole-Genome Sequencing in 3 Simple Steps

See a detailed view of the smallest organisms with this seamless workflow solution.

View Recommended Workflow

Advantages of Small Genome Sequencing

  • Allows investigation of all genes from single organism culture
  • Sequences thousands of organisms in parallel
  • Provides comprehensive analysis of the microbial or viral genome
  • Aids discovery of new biomarkers within a microbial or viral sample by providing distinct gene information from homologous chromosomes, supporting haplotyping

Fast, Culture-Free Microbial Analysis

Unlike traditional approaches, small whole-genome sequencing (WGS) studies using next-generation sequencing (NGS) do not rely on labor-intensive cloning steps. NGS also enables biologists to sequence hundreds of organisms simultaneously via multiplexing. NGS can identify low-frequency variants, genomic rearrangements, and other genetic changes that might be missed or are too costly to identify using other methods. For small genomes, DNA libraries can be prepared, sequenced, and analyzed in as little as 2 days.

The Time is Now for Microbiome Studies

Whole-Genome Sequencing and Drug Discovery

Learn how Joseph Petrosino, PhD uses whole-genome shotgun sequencing to obtain functional gene pathway and strain-based information in microbiome studies. These methods provide researchers and pharmaceutical companies with data to refine drug discovery and development.

Read Article
COVID-19 Solutions

Illumina NGS is uniquely positioned in an infectious disease surveillance and outbreak model. Compare NGS methods and find solutions to detect and characterize SARS-CoV2, track transmission routes, study co-infection, and investigate viral evolution.

Learn More
COVID-19 Solutions

Comprehensive Small Whole-Genome Sequencing Workflow

Illumina sequencing by synthesis (SBS) chemistry is the most widely adopted NGS technology, generating approximately 90% of global sequencing data.*

In addition to our industry-leading data quality, Illumina offers integrated workflows that simplify small genome sequencing, from library preparation to data analysis.

Related Solutions

Microbial WGS

Sequence and assemble genomes of novel organisms, finish genomes of known organisms, or compare genomes across multiple samples. Learn more about microbial whole-genome sequencing.

Shotgun Metagenomics

Comprehensively analyze all genes in all organisms present in a given complex sample. Detect very low abundance microbes that may be missed or are too expensive to identify using other methods. Learn more about shotgun metagenomic sequencing.

Interested in receiving newsletters, case studies, and information on genomic analysis techniques?

Enter your email address.

Additional Resources

Tracking the Ebola Virus
Tracking the Ebola Virus

Harvard researchers used sequencing to study Ebola outbreaks and understand viral mutations.

Small Genome Sequencing With the NextSeq Series
Small Genome Sequencing With the NextSeq Series

The NextSeq Series of sequencing systems offers an accessible whole-genome sequencing solution.

Microbiome Studies of Wine and Cheese
Microbiome Studies of Wine and Cheese

Dr. David Mills sequences the microbes involved in wine and cheese production to understand how they influence flavor.

Single-Cell Sequencing of Marine Microbes
Single-Cell Sequencing of Marine Microbes

Dr. Ramunas Stepanauskas uses single-cell sequencing to characterize bacteria inhabiting the ocean.

Sequencing Tracks a Deadly Porcine Virus
Sequencing Tracks a Deadly Porcine Virus

Dr. Ganwu Li and other veterinary scientists use sequencing to study a virus that threatens the pork industry.

Illumina DNA Prep on the iSeq 100 System
Illumina DNA Prep on the iSeq 100 System

View tips on transitioning to Illumina DNA Prep on the iSeq 100 System, including considerations for viral and bacterial sequencing.

*Data calculations on file. Illumina, Inc., 2015