Improved affordability makes genomics research more accessible than ever

26 Apr 2023
Improved affordability makes genomics research more accessible than ever

The South Australian Genomics Centre (SAGC) is now home to Australia’s first DNBSEQ-T7 ultra-high throughput sequencer (T7).

Supplied by MGI, a global leader in genome sequencing technology, the T7 is driving a revolution in genomic research in Australia by improving accessibility and enabling larger scale studies.

The SAGC is a partnership between SAHMRI, Adelaide’s major universities, the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF), supported by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). It’s a not-for-profit facility providing genomics and bioinformatics solutions across many areas, including animal, plant, environmental, microbial and human genomics.

SAGC Centre Manager, Dr Sen Wang says the new ultra-high throughput sequencing technology allows for deeper, faster, accurate sequencing, enabling researchers to dramatically boost the number of samples they can analyse and significantly expands research possibilities.

“The arrival of MGI’s T7 enables us to take on large-scale genomics tasks such as population-wide studies and emerging technologies like Spatial Transcriptomics at much lower cost,” Dr Wang said.

Professor David Lynn, Scientific Director of the SAGC says the T7 is the perfect addition to maximise the full potential of the centre’s other sequencers, taking overall output to new heights.

“It’s a much more flexible system that fits perfectly into the full range of other sequencers the SAGC can offer. This flexibility allows SAGC to match the right tool to any scale of sequencing project, while offering significantly lower costs,” Prof Lynn said.

The T7 generates up to 6 terabytes of genomics data per run, which can equate to 20,000 whole human genomes per year. Putting this in perspective, the first human genome was sequenced in the year 2000 at a cost of $3.8 billion US dollars and hailed as a monumental jump for biotechnology. Now the T7 can sequence a whole human genome for less than a few hundred Australian dollars.

The enhanced affordability of genomics will unlock the power of large sample repositories and biobanks, which demand the processing and extraction of immense amounts of data to reveal the complex interplay and relationships among multiple genes that contribute to complex conditions and disease
The SAGC has been excited by the initial reaction to the significant cost savings offered by the T7 and hopes to see awareness grow in the coming months from researchers eager to stretch limited grant funding. For inquiries please contact

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