Genomics

Phase Genomics Releases Platform for Discovering New Viruses

ProxiMeta™ Metagenome Deconvolution Platform Empowers Researchers to Discover Novel Phages and Connects them with their Hosts without the Need for Culturing

Phase Genomics, the global leader in proximity-ligation based genomic solutions, today announced the launch of a new platform aimed at the discovery of viral genomes from complex microbiome samples. The newly released technology will help researchers identify new phages and their bacterial targets in complex environments and will aid in a wide range of new and unique applications in the phage therapy and infectious disease fields. Phase Genomics has published the method and several datasets demonstrating the new capabilities of the ProxiMeta™ Metagenome Deconvolution Platform to bioRxiv.

The new computational method leverages Phase Genomics’ proprietary technology based on high throughput chromosome conformation capture. It captures physical genetic linkages inside bacterial cells and identifies DNA sequences that reside within the same organism. This allows the discovery and reconstruction of new viral and bacterial genomes not possible with other technologies. It also measures the host range of the newly discovered viruses, filling a crucial gap in the understanding of the biology of viruses and their commercial applicability.

“Viruses represent the most abundant biological entities on earth and the most understudied members of microbial communities,” said Ivan Liachko, CEO of Phase Genomics. “Their discovery is impeded by the limitations of even the most cutting-edge tools of the day. Our new platform technology leverages next-generation sequencing in a unique way to overcome the limitations of traditional methods. We believe that this technology will bring significant improvements to phage therapy, synthetic biology, and numerous areas of biological research.”

“Metagenomics has drastically accelerated virus discovery, changing our view of virus sequence space from a few hundred viruses to millions. However, the twin grand challenge — to capture full genomes and to link newly discovered viruses to their hosts — are major roadblocks for the field,” said Matthew Sullivan, Professor of Microbiology at Ohio State University and Founding Director of OSU’s Center of Microbiome Science. “Promisingly, these early findings suggest that Phase Genomics’ proximity ligation approach may solve both these problems.”

The new method is integrated into Phase Genomics’ microbiome discovery platform, ProxiMeta™, and is now available in conjunction with Phase Genomics’ reagent kits and sample prep services. The preprint can be found at: biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.14.448389v1

Phase Genomics is currently involved in numerous other studies exploring and mapping the microbiome.

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