chinese-crested-dogSince the completion of the human genome project in 2003, more and more research has been poured into DNA sequencing. In the past 15 years or so, we have seen the cost of genome sequencing decrease from approximately $100 million dollars to right around $1000 dollars. This dramatic price reduction is due to the rapid advancement in DNA sequencing technology, and as a result, whole-genome sequencing is no longer relegated to large sequencing facilities. Companies such as Illumina, Life Technologies, and Pacific Biosciences all offer what are known as “desktop” sequencing platforms, and thereby are able to bring whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing power to large sequencing facilities and smaller research labs alike. In Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, a research team from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences recently published their findings concerning the efficacy of the Ion Proton system and its ability to provide sufficient coverage of the genome and exome of four Chinese Crested dogs.

Viluma et al. created a 200bp library for each dog and sequenced each library on two Ion PI chips. The research team was able to achieve 80% coverage of the genome and 77% coverage of the exome when compared to the known genetic variants. In order to validate their findings, Viluma et al. compared the detected variants by the Ion Proton system against those detected using the Illumina HD canine SNP array. With the ability to detect 90% of the variants detected by the Illumina SNP array, the Ion Proton system has proven that it has a place in laboratories looking to complete whole-exome and whole-genome studies.