The West Africa Centre for Cell biology of Infectious Pathogens at the University of Ghana is the first institution in Ghana to generate exome sequenced data. Earlier during this COVID-19 pandemic, WACCBIP successfully sequenced the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, making the data publicly available whiles tracking the virus to detect possible mutations. The exome sequencing feat will expand the Centre’s sequencing capabilities, allowing scientist to conduct more specialised research without requesting for tooling outside the continent. The exome is the part of the genome composed of exons, the sequences which, when transcribed, remain within the mature RNA after introns are removed by RNA splicing and contribute to the final protein product encoded by that gene. Exome research is limited in many parts of Africa, one reason been expensive tooling. WACCBIP continues to pioneer many frontiers of reseach in Africa.
This sequencing was conducted using their newly acquired Illumina NextSeq2000 sequencer, a platform that uses advancements in optics, instrument design, and 2-channel chemistry to increase output. The Illumina NextSeq2000 sequencer was procured through a grant from the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). With this new platform, researchers at WACCBIP can sequence a range of conventional and emerging applications by increasing throughput while cutting down on costs per run. Researchers at WACCBIP are now positioned to achieve expeditious sequencing speeds and multiple run configurations that enable sequencing outputs of 27 – 300 Gb per run.