home Courses EVE 161 at #UCDavis — Lecture 2 recap – Evolution of DNA sequencing methods

EVE 161 at #UCDavis — Lecture 2 recap – Evolution of DNA sequencing methods

I am in the process of teaching a course on “DNA sequence based studies of microbial diversity” (EVE 161 at UC Davis) and I thought it would be of use to some people to post about it.  I have made a landing page for the course: EVE 161: DNA sequence based studies of microbial diversity 

This is the post for Lecture 2 which was on “The Evolution of DNA Sequencing Methods” – or – some history of DNA sequencing.

The main reading for the class was:

I told the students to read Mardis 2013 though in the end I kind of wished I had used Mardis 2008.  Also – one limitation of these papers is that they are not open access so I spent some time also looking for open access papers that reviewed sequencing technology, especially those with a focus on more modern issues in sequencing (I got some help from the Twittersphere but need to compile that information still).  I found the following that seemed OK:

This also seemed useful: Next gen sequencing for dummies to it is not open access per se.

Anyway – the basic outline for what I did in class was to cover the history of DNA sequencing with a focus on next gen sequencing.  I had the following outline:

  1. Timeline of DNA sequencing
  2. Generation I: Manual sequencing (with an emphasis on Sanger)
  3. Generation II: Automation
    1. Capillary / fluorescent Sanger
    2. Colony picking robotics
  4. Generation III: Colonies not Clones
    1. 454
    2. Illumina
    3. ABI Solid
  5. Generation 3.5
    1. Ion Torrent
  6. Generation 4: Single Molecule Sequencing
    1. PacBio
    2. Oxford Nanopores (what I call mythical sequencing)

Basically I tried to cover some history and then give the students a bit of “shock and awe” with how much faster and easier and cheeper sequencing is now.

My slides are in Slideshare:


Also of possible use are the following Youtube videos 


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