Next-Generation Sequencing

The UMGC provides the latest and most powerful Next-generation Sequencing (NGS) platforms from Illumina giving researchers a wide range of cutting-edge sequencing solutions to fit any project scale, budget, and turnaround. Our highly trained NGS scientists have direct experience and knowledge of operating complex technical instrumentation while balancing the high-throughput needs of our research community.

As a Certified Service Provider for Illumina, we undergo rigorous annual certification to guarantee our clients receive the highest quality data using the most up-to-date workflows. In addition, the strict process regulation and quality control checks required for diagnostic testing in our CLIA-certified lab is optionally applied to all our research samples.

Advantages of our NGS service

  • Highly experienced NGS team providing unparalleled skill and sequence quality for an academic core facility.
  • Flexible sequencing options from a diverse array of instruments ranging from small to production-scale capacities.
  • Competitive pricing at just $8.79/Gb for UMN researchers on our production-scale Illumina NovaSeq instrument.
  • Expert NGS consultation to guide researchers on using the best NGS platform for their research goals.

Successful Illumina sequencing is not only dependent on the quality of the DNA or RNA submitted, but also on the quality of the library created and in the selection of the appropriate library kit. Our highly experienced NGS team consistently produces uniform library fragment size for optimal cluster generation and maximal data output of your flow cell lane. Alternatively, clients can submit their own libraries for full QC workup and use our sequencing-only service.

We offer a broad range of Illumina instruments with different capacities and read lengths to partner with our comprehensive selection of library creation services

NGS Short-read Technology

Illumina sequencing-by-synthesis technology provides short reads by sequencing tens or hundreds of millions of clusters derived from single template molecules in parallel for rapid sequencing. Fluorescently labeled reversible terminators are attached to dNTPs and emission is imaged with high resolution to identify the base added; this results in highly accurate, true base-by-base sequencing.

In addition to sequencing speed and low error rate, the Illumina platform offers paired-end (PE) sequencing in which both ends of the library molecule are sequenced and the forward and reverse reads form read “pairs”. PE data sets are advantageous as they provide higher mapping rates to facilitate genome and transcriptome assembly. PE data is also able to resolve structural rearrangements.

The main disadvantages to the Illumina platforms are the limits to read lengths with current available kits ranging from 50-300 bases in both PE and single-read (SR) formats, and the larger capacity instruments may take longer to fill for certain read types, which may delay sequencing turnaround.

Please visit the Illumina website for deeper technology specifics.


Whether a client is new to NGS or one of our regular users, we can help determine which instrument and application best meet a project’s goal. Clients are encouraged to contact our NGS team for consult on experimental design, library creation methods, or sequencing options at