DNA sequencing is one of the core technologies that generates raw data for the development of molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics fields. DNA sequencing technology is additionally used to study most of the recent DNA markers, which leads to applications in genetics, evolution, ecology and diagnostics. A DNA Sequencing laboratory (DSL) was set up in 1997 to cater to the core DNA sequencing needs of the Department of Biological Sciences. This facility also serves as a valuable training resource for undergraduate students and researchers. There are currently two 16-capillary sequencers and one high throughput 96-capillary sequencer in DSL. Together, these three sequencers enable high levels of productivity and efficiency, offering tremendous potential for de novo sequencing, re-sequencing, microsatellite-based fragment analysis and SNP genotyping projects. The DNA sequencers are handled directly by the DSL users, which makes this facility unique.
With the overwhelming demand for its use, the facility’s management and real-time booking of facility was made online in 1999 with the help of the IT Unit staff of the Faculty of Science. On average, 200 undergraduate and 100 postgraduate students rely for their sequencing requirements on this facility every year. Nearly 250 users from 43 laboratories from the department are registered currently. In the past year, ~68,000 sequencing reactions were run, bringing the usage to 70% of the total maximum available time. This was possible by the online management system that allows the facility to be used on a 7 day-24 hours basis. The facility is proud to have had a minimal two day down-time for software upgrade and maintenance last year despite the multi-operator format. The DSL Facility constantly is exploring ways to improve its performance and to serve the users from DBS and other departments for their sequencing needs.
It is important that we help run the DNA Sequencing Laboratory efficiently by following the guidelines strictly.
We are working on the collective responsibility of members from the respective labs. i.e. each member is assumed to be representing their labs. while working in DSL. Any warnings will be issued to the laboratory, not the individual user.