The "Genomics & Transcriptomics Laboratory" (GTL) offers services in the field of nucleic acid analysis as a core facility. The GTL can cooperate with internal and external working groups and support them specifically in molecularbiology issues.
Our offerings range from the quantitative and qualitative analysis of your nucleic acids, to Sanger sequencing and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). High-throughput platforms from Illumina as well as long-read (often third-generation sequencing) platforms from Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore Technologies are available for this purpose.
In 1992, the Biological Medical Research Center (BMFZ) founded the "Molekularbiologisches Zentrallabor (MZL)", which in 2011 was renamed the 'Genomics & Transcriptomics Laboratory' (GTL).
We joined the "German cDNA sequencing consortium" togehther with eight leading DNA sequencing centers in Germany and participated in the German Human Genome Project in the first and second funding phase. We were also involved in the programs of the subsequent National Genome Research Network (NGFN-I and NGFN-II) and have thus been able to build up a corresponding expertise in the field of DNA sequencing.
The work in the GTL focuses mainly on DNA sequencing and gene expression analysis. DNA microarray-based gene expression analyzes have been performed since 2001 and DNA sequencing since 1992. The analytical devices and the methodological expertise accumulated in the GTL allow for an efficient handling of bioanalytical questions with modern technologies, benefiting all interested working groups at the university.
Central DNA sequencing unit
The sample throughput in the field of DNA sequencing has been growing steadily for many years. We offer technology and expertise in First (Sanger), Next (short read) and Third (long read) Generation Sequencing. A total of three Sanger DNA sequencers (ABI 3130XL Genetic Analyzer), three Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) devices (Illumina MiSeq, Illumina HiSeq 3000 and Ion S5) and two Long read technologies (Oxford Nanopore GridIon X5 and Pacific Biosciences Sequel) are available. Two pipetting robots and other specialized equipment for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the samples complete our service for high-throughput DNA sequencing. As clinically relevant samples are increasingly being examined, a corresponding quality management system was established in 2010 and certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001: 2008 Standard.
DNA microarrays and high-throughput DNA sequencing for gene expression analysis
In 2001 the first central DNA microarray platform in the BMFZ was established. In 2008, the BMFZ took over the supervision of the Affymetrix Core Facility of the Medical Faculty and since 2009 a second commercial array platform (Agilent DNA microarray platform) is available.
The quantitative detection of gene expression using high-throughput DNA sequencing methods is the method of choice, if all genes of an organism are to be investigated. The highly parallel sequencing of cDNA molecules allows global transciptome analyses to be carried out, which have clear advantages over conventional DNA microarrays:
a) NGS technologies allow quantitative and significantly more sensitive analyses,
b) they have a much larger linear measuring range,
c) also unknown gene transcripts and splice variants can be detected.
Using the long read technologies, even direct RNA sequencing or sequencing of complete cDNA transcripts can be performed.
West German Genome Center
Since 2018, the GTL is part of the West German Genome Center. Further information can be found here.