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Comparative performance of the BGI and Illumina sequencing technology for single-cell RNA-sequencing

By Anne Senabouth, Stacey Andersen, Qianyu Shi, Lei Shi, Feng Jiang, Wenwei Zhang, Kristof Wing, Maciej Daniszewski, Samuel W. Lukowski, Sandy SC Hung, Quan Nguyen, Lynn Fink, Ant Beckhouse, Alice P├ębay, Alex W Hewitt, Joseph E Powell

Posted 17 Feb 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/552588 (published DOI: 10.1093/nargab/lqaa034)

The libraries generated by high-throughput single cell RNA-sequencing platforms such as the Chromium from 10x Genomics require considerable amounts of sequencing, typically due to the large number of cells. The ability to use this data to address biological questions is directly impacted by the quality of the sequence data. Here we have compared the performance of the Illumina NextSeq 500 and NovaSeq 6000 against the BGI MGISEQ-2000 platform using identical Single Cell libraries consisting of over 70,000 cells. Our results demonstrate a highly comparable performance between the NovaSeq 6000 and MGISEQ-2000 in sequencing quality, and cell, UMI, and gene detection. However, compared with the NextSeq 500, the MGISEQ- 2000 platform performs consistently better, identifying more cells, genes, and UMIs at equalised read depth. We were able to call an additional 1,065,659 SNPs from sequence data generated by the BGI platform, enabling an additional 14% of cells to be assigned to the correct donor from a multiplexed library. However, both the NextSeq 500 and MGISEQ-2000 detected similar frequencies of gRNAs from a pooled CRISPR single cell screen. Our study provides a benchmark for high capacity sequencing platforms applied to high-throughput single cell RNA-seq libraries.

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