Whole Genome Sequencing of Bacteria

Microbial strains can be an essential part of research programmes, included in products such as probiotic supplements, or used as production strains.  Whole genome sequencing provides the deepest level of insight into your precious biological resource, helping you to understand and protect it. The data generated can be revisited and reanalysed to meet changing requirements.

A photograph looking over the shoulder of a laboratory scientist who is is loading a cartridge in to a next generation sequencer for whole genome sequencing of bacteria

Why choose NCIMB for whole genome sequencing?

  • Fast turnaround times: to help you progress your project successfully and efficiently.
  • Good communication: our experts can advise on options and we will keep you informed of progress from receipt of your sample to delivery of your final report.
  • Data analysis: we use the well known Qiagen CLC Genomics Workbench to analyse data and screen strains for antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors. 

Our customers

We have undertaken whole genome sequencing and data analysis for customers including probiotics, live biotherapeutics, food and supplements manufacturers.

Use whole genome sequencing to monitor for strain drift

Contamination and strain drift can occur in working stocks of production strains, or within research laboratories where strains are repeatedly subcultured during long term research projects. Regularly comparing sequences of working stocks with the sequence of the original isolate or banked stock highlights any indication of drift over time. NCIMB provides this service.

Protect your intellectual property

Whole genome sequencing can be very important with respect to the industrial use of bacteria. For example, companies may specify the presence of a particular strain within a patented process. In cases where a patent is contested, or infringement suspected, whole genome sequencing allows very closely related strains to be compared and differentiated.

Whole genome sequencing and characterisation of strains used in the food chain

Whole genome sequencing is a key consideration in the responsible use of microbes as food and animal feed additives, as well as for other industrial applications such as live biotherapeutics. Our whole genome sequencing and analysis service includes genome sequencing, assembly and screening for antimicrobial resistance genes and virulence factors using the Qiagen CLC Genomics Workbench. Once sequenced, the whole genome data is available for any future analysis required, and we can undertake analysis of existing datasets.

We also offer a range of microbiology tests to help you determine the functional characteristics of candidate strains and assess their suitability for use in probiotic products. More information about our services services for animal feed additives and probiotic products can be found here. Find out more about the work we have done to help screen candidate strains for live biotherapeutics development in our case study.

Three-point strain health check service

NCIMB offers a whole-genome sequencing-based three-point strain health check service that is applicable to microbial strains used in industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, fermentation systems such as anaerobic digesters and food and drink manufacturing - in fact, any application where your process relies on microbial products.

The three elements of our health check are "Identify", "Monitor" and "Analyse" - identify the species present; monitor for strain drift and analyse data to detect antimicrobial resistance genes or virulence factors.

The service includes an initial consultation to determine and agree the required work scope after which the sample can be shipped to us. We will then carry out the sample preparation and DNA extraction prior to whole genome sequencing. This is followed by data analysis, comparative genomics to compare working and master stocks, reporting and a final consultation.

Flow chart outlining NCIMB's three point strain health check service. The steps include initial consultation and agreement of work scope, sample preparation and DNA extraction, whole genome sequencing, data analysis using the Qiagen CLC workbench and reporting and final consultation

Whole genome sequencing of strains in our culture collection

The National Collection of Industrial, Food and Marine Bacteria includes thousands of ACDP category 1 and 2 strains. We offer whole genome sequencing of any strain within our fantastic culture collection.

Easy sample submission

You can submit DNA or pure cultures for whole genome sequencing. If you don't have the time or facilities to pre-prepare samples, we can accept mixed cultures, lyophilised end products, and other sample types such as water, slimes or contaminated products for DNA extraction prior to sequencing. Please contact us for more information about our services.

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