Assessment of Oxford Nanopore Technologies as a Sequencing Platform for Increased Taxonomic Resolution of Microbial Communities
Valenti, Kiana L.
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Microbiome profiling for forensic identification is an emerging area of research. Profiling the microbiome of trace evidence for forensic cases will become more prevalent as more reliable, accurate, and efficient methodology is developed. Sequencing the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene using second-generation sequencing methods has traditionally been the means of characterizing the microbiome of microbial samples, however this method often does not garner species-level resolution. In this study, the MinION[TM] device from Oxford Nanopore Technologies, an instrument capable of sequencing the entire length of the 16S rRNA gene was used. The main goal of this was to determine whether using the MinION[TM] device is a more viable means of obtaining deeper yet still accurate taxonomic resolution of a mixed microbial standard that contains species of bacteria that might be found in a casework sample.