19 September 2017
DNA Sequencing

DNA is a hereditary material which contains genetic instructions such as functioning and development of living organisms. It is made up of molecules called as nucleotides which contain a sugar group, a phosphate group, and a nitrogen base. There are four types of nitrogen bases, namely, adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine. The process of determining the sequence of these nucleotides is known as DNA sequencing. DNA sequencing proves to be of use in forensic research and studying the fundamental processes. The genetic instructions in the DNA are based on the sequence of these nitrogen bases. The major step in entirely understanding the human genome was the completion of Human Genome Project.

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The DNA sequence which contains genetic instructions to make a protein is known as gene. DNA has double helical structure with two strands running in opposite directions. Each step of the ladder is made up of two nitrogen bases which are paired together by hydrogen bonds. In DNA, base A will always pair with base T, and base C will always pair with G. There are three types of DNA sequencing techniques, namely, Sanger sequencing, next generation sequencing, and third generation sequencing. DNA sequencing has a very important role in the field of agriculture. To increase the resistance against insects and to increase the productivity, specific genes of some bacteria are used. In medical field, DNA sequencing can be used to determine the faulty genes. In forensic sciences, DNA sequencing is helpful in recognizing the criminals. It is also used to determine the paternity of the child. It is also used in building restriction endonuclease and molecular evolution map. It is also used to identify the protein binding sites. DNA sequencing has advantages such high speed and accuracy.

The major factor that drives the DNA sequencing market is increasing R&D activities by partnering of the pharmaceutical companies with research institutions. For instance, in April 2016, AstraZeneca launched a project to sequence 2 million genomes by partnering with research institutions which include the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Human Longevity. Moreover, technological advancements will also fuel the growth of this market. For instance, in September 2015, Oxford Nanopore Technologies developed MinION a DNA sequencer, which can be used in space. With the help of MinION it is possible to detect DNA sequence in humans with response to spaceflight and will help in the identification of DNA-based life somewhere in the universe. However, expensive sequencing devices and dearth of skilled professionals will hamper the growth of DNA sequencing market.

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Some of the key players operating in the global DNA sequencing market are, Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc., Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc., Hamilton Thorne, Inc., Abbott Laboratories Inc., Myriad Genetics, Inc., Agilent Technologies Inc., General Electric Company, ZS Genetics, Beckman Coulter, Inc. (a part of Danaher Corporation), Commonwealth Biotechnologies, Inc., Siemens AG, Bayer AG and LI-COR, Inc.

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