Yearly Demand for Whole Human Genome Sequencing – 400K New Genomes in 2015 ?


(Figure courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute: 

Advances since the Human Genome Project ended in 2003 have been significant. With new Illumina sequencing instruments becoming operational in April, large facilities will be able to generate 18,000 whole human genomes (18,000 30x Genomes / HiSeq X Ten, a set of 10 HiSeq X Systems). As of today, these facilities include: the Broad Institute, Garvan Research Foundation, Macrogen, New York Genome Center, Novogene and WuXi PharmTech. At a rate of 1 genome / lane, this begs the question how many 30x human genomes will be sequenced in the next 3 years ? Let’s estimate that each facility will churn out around 25,000, 30x genomes/year (some of the facilities above have purchased multiple HiSeq X Tens, others have more than 10 daisy chained together). In 2015 yield from these facilities alone (assuming no one else purchased a machine) would be ~150,000 genomes. Optimistically doubling that to account for new HiSeq X Ten purchases between now and 2015 would give an estimate of ~300,000 genomes in 2015, and that’s only on the HiSeq X Ten. Assuming this year there will already be 60,000 30x (non-HiSeq X Ten) genomes sequenced, 20% growth brings this figure closer to ~400,000 genomes in 2015. While this figure certainly does not account for delays, instrument break downs, data analysis, storage and library prep bottlenecks, it represents optimistic potential for 2015.

The next question is who’s going to supply all the DNA ? Several new initiatives to sequence whole populations are quickly popping up. With £100m earmarked, the UK is planning on sequencing the genomes of up to 100,000 NHS patients by 2017 (instrument platform likely Illumina), Saudi Arabia also plans to map 100,000 of their citizens, with the Ion Proton in line ready to do all the heavy lifting: Craig Venter’s recent launch of the company Human Longevity plans to start sequencing 40,000 genomes with plans to “rapidly scale to 100,000 human genomes / year”:

Everything described above pertains to whole human genome sequencing and is not meant to undercut the significantly higher number of other species that will be sequenced between now and 2015. Our focus at Genohub is to make it easy for researchers interested in next generation sequencing services to access all the latest sequencing technology, including the HiSeq X Ten: Anyone can search for, find and order sequencing, library prep and analysis services, making owning an actual sequencing instrument not a requirement for getting access to good quality data.



2 thoughts on “Yearly Demand for Whole Human Genome Sequencing – 400K New Genomes in 2015 ?

  1. Pingback: The two cultures of mathematics and biology | Bits of DNA

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