At Gencove, our vision is that the adoption of ubiquitous sequencing will enable a healthier and more sustainable civilization. We are pleased to work with a broad range of customers and partners to enable this vision – as we look back on work that our platform contributed to in 2022 a few broad themes emerged:
Low-pass sequencing showed promise for clinical applications. Whole-genome sequencing data is poised to change the way we manage health, from preventative care like population health screening, to disease treatment like molecular testing in oncology. In an example from the former, researchers at the diagnostics company SEMA4 showed how molecular measurements of ancestry (computed using the Gencove platform) support the use of comprehensive carrier screening panels across ancestry groups. In an example from the latter, scientists from Labcorp and Gencove showed how oncology biomarkers related to homologous recombination deficiency can be detected from low-pass sequencing data, opening a path for the implementation of low-pass sequencing for cancer treatment selection.
Sequencing is replacing genotyping for large-scale agricultural applications. The throughput and price-sensitivity of agricultural applications of genomics has meant that genome sequencing has not been a viable technology for widespread use. In 2022, our partner Neogen launched infiniSEEK, a combined target capture plus low-pass whole genome solution for cattle, that makes genome sequencing the most comprehensive, cost-effective genetic testing solution for the industry. Using a precursor of infiniSEEK, we collaborated with the JR Simplot Company to build a genetic predictor of bovine congestive heart failure, and are pursuing widespread implementation of this predictor in feedlots.
Sequencing is becoming the standard for studies of companion animal genetics. Companion animal genetics is important for both basic science and for commercial purposes, but these species have historically had fewer genomics tools available. Using low-pass sequencing, researchers from the Broad Institute published the most comprehensive study of the genetics of complex traits like behavior and morphology in dogs. On the feline side of companion animal genomics, researchers from HudsonAlpha used low-pass sequencing to identify genetic variants that influence pigmentation traits in the Bengal cat breed.
Low-pass sequencing is maturing as a sequencer-agnostic tool. 2022 saw a number of announcements of new sequencing hardware from companies like Illumina, Pacific Biosciences, Element, MGI, Singular, and Ultima. We partnered with BGI to demonstrate the power of low-pass sequencing on their platform, and with Element to show the advantages of their platform for low-pass sequencing applications.
We expect the advances in new sequencing hardware to continue to propel the adoption of genome sequencing across industries in 2023; we're always looking for new partners who share our vision and would love to hear from you, please reach out!