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Hackflex: low cost Illumina sequencing library construction for high sample counts

By Daniela Gaio, Joyce To, Michael Liu, Leigh Monahan, Kay Anantanawat, Aaron E Darling

Posted 23 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/779215

We developed Hackflex, a low-cost method for the production of Illumina-compatible sequencing libraries that allows up to 11 times more libraries for high-throughput Illumina sequencing to be generated at a fixed cost. We call this new method Hackflex. Quality of library preparation was tested by constructing libraries from E. coli MG1655 genomic DNA using either Hackflex, standard Nextera Flex or a variation of standard Nextera Flex in which the bead-linked transposase is diluted prior to use. We demonstrated that Hackflex can produce high quality libraries and yields a highly uniform coverage, equivalent to the standard Nextera Flex kit. Using Hackflex, we were able to achieve a per sample reagent cost of library prep of A$8.66, which is 8.23 times lower than the Standard Nextera Flex protocol at advertised retail price. An additional simple modification to the protocol enables a further price reduction of up to 11 fold or about A$6.50/sample. This method will allow researchers to construct more libraries within a given budget, thereby yielding more data and facilitating research programs where sequencing large numbers of libraries is beneficial.

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