Whole genome sequencing (also known as WGS, full genome sequencing, complete genome sequencing, or entire genome sequencing) is ostensibly the process of determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism's genome at a single time. What are the applications of WGS? Here in this article, two main fields are mainly talked about.

1. Application in animals

Through gene alignment, candidate genes related to animal importance can be predicted, and QTL can be located by whole genome sequencing, predicting candidate genes, and analyzing population evolution processes. Some research results have been achieved in animal breeding using genome-wide sequencing technology. The continuous development and application of genome-wide sequencing technology has achieved certain results in the field of genome research, such as constructing genetic maps, analyzing population evolution, trait gene mapping, and detecting variation. In 2000, the whole genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster was determined. As a model organism, it has made great achievements in the fields of genomics and gene function. These research results can be applied in the fields of medicine and life sciences. The researchers selected three mutant hereditary fruit flies (self-crossing 286 generations) and found a total of 174 trusted SNPs. The number of mutations, SNP loci and mutation rate were counted under different sequencing depth conditions. Researchers at Jiangxi Agricultural University, Huada Gene, and the University of California used whole-genome sequencing to reveal the molecular mechanisms of environmental adaptation in pigs, demonstrating that 219 loci are associated with the environmental adaptability of pig breeds across the genome.

In addition, it has confirmed that Chinese local pigs have made important contributions to the cultivation of world pig breeds. China has a large geographical area, and the research results can guide the cultivation of Chinese pig breeds to adapt to different geographical environments and promote the sustainable and healthy development of the pig industry.
Using 2 cows and 232 bulls as research objects, a total of 2.83 million mutations and genes related to milk yield, embryonic death and curling traits were detected by whole genome sequencing, providing science foundation for improving milk production and confirmed the fact that embryo death directly affects the reproductive performance of cattle.

2. Application in other fields

In addition to its use in animal breeding, whole-genome sequencing is also used in plants, microbes, and insects. For example, the whole germplasm re-sequencing of rice germplasm resource-KRICE_CORE was performed using Illumina HiSeq2000 and 2500 platform, and 2046529 high-quality SNPs were used for phylogeny and population analysis. The results are helpful for future molecular breeding, function and evolution studies. Three different poplar varieties were used as research objects, and the whole genome sequencing data was used to characterize and compare the nucleotide polymorphisms, locus frequency maps and population size recombination rates of the three varieties. The results of the study can help people understand how various evolutionary forces interact and influence the evolution of the genome between related species.

With the rapid development of science and technology, it has been more than a decade since the publication of the human genome work sketch. During this period, a large number of research results have been reported, involving animal, plant, microbial and human diseases. The research content is also getting deeper and deeper, and some progress and theoretical breakthroughs have been made in the research of the genome level.

Whole genome sequencing technology has been widely applied in many fields of plants and microorganisms. In animal aspects, whole genome sequencing is used to identify mutation sites and candidate genes that affect important economic traits, and then the next step is to verify in order to speed up the pace of animal molecular breeding. Whole genome sequencing is only a small represent of genomic research. Genomic sequencing, protein and transcriptomics also play an important role in life sciences. For example, in February 2016, the full-genome sequence of Valerian was reported in Nature magazine. The research is of great scientific value and helps researchers to explore the genetic factors that contribute to biomass production and protection and restoration of seaweed. In March 2016, published in Science magazine, the world's smallest genome, Syn3.0, was synthesized. The research goal is to understand the life activities of cells and use these organisms and newly added genes to produce fuels for human learning, drugs and other substances. In addition, there are many genomics studies that open the door to the exploration of life and reveal the mysteries of life.

Problems and solutions

The whole genome sequencing has gone through 3 generations. The more advanced sequencing methods and techniques, the improved accuracy and completeness of detection, and some technical and theoretical breakthroughs, but also brought some challenges. Sequencing individuals or groups will result in huge amounts of data. How to store, process and analyze data efficiently and quickly is one of the problems people face. The main problem is how to use big data and what data to use. If you can't use the sequencing data in a cost-effective way or use invalid data, it will cause waste of resources and even get wrong conclusions. Therefore, if you can overcome the difficulties of data storage and analysis, the wide application of sequencing will be more extensive.

The solutions to this problem are: 1 Simplify the genomic sequencing data, preferably to remove lengthy, useless information, and retain useful information. 2 reduce the error rate generated by sequencing and improve accuracy. If the genome of the species is too large and the sequencing depth is insufficient, the accuracy of the results will be reduced. 3 Software and systems for processing data to be popularized. Many units get data but don't use software analysis. Develop easy-to-understand software or provide specific software manuals to make data analysis software popular. 4. Reduce the cost of sequencing. For general research units, whole-genome sequencing costs are relatively expensive. If large sample studies are difficult to withstand high sequencing costs, the use of whole-genome sequencing technology is limited. If you can reduce the cost of sequencing and increase the level of genetic testing, it is possible to achieve large-scale detection of genes.

Further reading: The Methods of Whole Genome Sequencing and Bioinformatics Workflow for Whole Genome Sequencing.

Author's Bio: 

CD Genomics was established in 2004, we are aiming at providing the research community with high quality Next Generation Sequencing, PacBio SMRT sequencing, and microarray services. Due to the demand for our services has being increased; CD Genomics has already updated its technology platform to mainstream NGS and microarray instruments. At present, our senior bioinformaticians have ever viewed more than ten thousands of trace files and accumulated abundant experience with our Illumina HiSeq 2500, HiSeq 4000, Miseq Benchtop Sequencer, PacBio Sequel, PacBio RS II, Ion Torrent PGM, and ABI 3730/3730XL analyzer, etc. We continue to work hard to offer you the same dependable services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as academia and government agencies for the purpose of satisfying all your sequencing or array needs.