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The Max Planck Institute in Leipzig Acquires Second Genome Sequencing FLX™ System

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454 Life Sciences, a part of Roche Applied Science, has announced that the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany has purchased its second Genome Sequencer FLX (GS FLX) System.

The institute chose to add to its previous Genome Sequencer System, initially purchased as a GS 20 in August 2006 and upgraded to a GS FLX in 2007, based on the platform’s ability to address current research and anticipated future needs. With the acquisition of the second instrument, the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig’s total 454 sequencing capacity is now 400 million bases per day.

Based in the lab of Professor Svante Paabo, Director of the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the Max Planck Institute, the two GS FLX instruments will be used to sequence the genome of the Bonobo, a great ape closely related to humans.

Svante Paabo is a world leading anthropologist well known for his research on Neanderthals, including his efforts to sequencing the complete Neandertal genome. The Bonobo genome sequence will allow scientists to gauge the fine-scale evolution of the Chimpanzee genome in the same way as the Neanderthal genome will provide insight into the evolution of the human genome.

The Max Planck Institute chose the Genome Sequencer System from a short list of competing technologies because of the system’s applicability to mammalian genome sequencing. The system’s features such as long read lengths and lack of bias enable researchers to obtain a comprehensive picture of their genome of interest, quickly and affordably.

“Since we began the Neandertal Genome Project in 2006, the 454 Sequencing system has consistently demonstrated that it is an excellent platform for mammalian genome sequencing,” said Prof. Pääbo. “When it came time to increase our sequencing capacity for the Bonobo project, the GS FLX was the logical choice. The Bonobo genome, in conjunction with our Neandertal sequencing effort, will give us an unprecedented view of human and chimpanzee evolution.”