The Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI) is highlighting its role in the COVID-19 Genomics U.K. Consortium in a poster presentation at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) 2022 conference. As part of the consortium, WSI aims to understand the evolution and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 using large-scale whole-genome sequencing.
As part of WSI's sequencing work, the institute is developing and scaling an automated pipeline to produce SARS-CoV-2 libraries to support multiplexed sequencing on the Illumina NovaSeq platform, according to the poster.
The institute receives daily nucleic acid extracts from the U.K.'s network of COVID-19 testing laboratories. From the samples that test positive, WSI selects about 7,000 each day for genomic sequencing using set criteria that ensure a geographically balanced representation of the samples. The processing is done on a custom platform centered on the Beckman Biomek i5 automated workstation, according to the poster.
Since the start of the project in March 2020, WSI has sequenced more than 750,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes, which have been uploaded to the Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics platform.