The cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for a fungus-Introduction, Keynotes, and Further Readings

Introduction of the cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for a fungus

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is a powerful technology that has revolutionized the fields of genetics, biology, and medicine. It involves determining the complete DNA sequence of an organism’s genome at a single time. This comprehensive approach allows for the observation of all genetic variations, from single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to large structural variations, providing insights into genetic contributions to disease, evolution, and development.

The cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for a fungus-Introduction, Keynotes, and Further Readings
Fig. The cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for a fungus

The cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for a fungus can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  1. Sequencing Technology: Different sequencing platforms (like Illumina, PacBio, or Oxford Nanopore) have different pricing models. Illumina platforms might be less expensive per base but may require more labor-intensive library preparation. In contrast, PacBio and Oxford Nanopore can provide longer reads, which are beneficial for assembling complex genomes, but typically at a higher cost.
  2. Sequencing Depth: The more coverage (the number of times each base is read), the higher the cost. Fungal genomes can be sequenced to different depths depending on the quality and size of the genome and the project’s goals.
  3. Genome Size and Complexity: Fungal genomes can range from relatively small (around 12 Mb for some yeasts) to very large (several hundred Mb for some filamentous fungi). Larger and more complex genomes require more sequencing effort, which increases costs.
  4. Data Analysis: The cost of bioinformatics analysis can sometimes exceed that of the sequencing itself. The analysis includes assembly, annotation, and identification of genomic features.
  5. Laboratory Work: Library preparation, quality control, and other preparatory work can add to the cost.
  6. Service Providers: Costs can differ between academic core facilities, commercial sequencing companies, and national research institutes.

To give a rough estimate, whole-genome sequencing for a fungal organism might cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand US dollars. For a small to medium-sized fungal genome (about 30-40 Mb), using a high-throughput Illumina sequencing approach, you might expect costs to be in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 for sequencing and basic analysis. More complex projects or those requiring high-quality reference genomes might cost more.


When considering the cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for a fungus, here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Sequencing Technology: The choice of sequencing platform (e.g., Illumina, PacBio, Oxford Nanopore) will significantly affect cost, with different platforms offering trade-offs between read length, accuracy, and price.
  2. Genome Size: Larger and more complex fungal genomes require more sequencing, which will increase the overall cost.
  3. Sequencing Depth: Higher coverage, meaning more reads per base, will increase accuracy but also the price. For fungi, a typical coverage might range from 30x to 100x.
  4. Library Preparation: The process of preparing DNA for sequencing, including DNA extraction and library construction, adds to the cost and varies depending on the quality of DNA and the sequencing method.
  5. Bioinformatics Analysis: Data analysis can be substantial, involving genome assembly, annotation, and possibly comparative genomics, which can be as costly as the sequencing itself.
  6. Service Level: Costs may differ between full-service options (which include all steps from DNA extraction to data analysis) and à la carte services where you might do some steps in-house.
  7. Geographical Variation: Costs can vary by region due to differences in labor costs, the availability of technology, and competition in the market.
  8. Economies of Scale: Bulk sequencing projects (sequencing multiple genomes at once) can reduce the cost per genome.
  9. Academic vs. Commercial Pricing: Academic institutions may offer lower costs compared to commercial sequencing services, especially if subsidized.
  10. Additional Services: Other services such as metagenomic analysis, specialized bioinformatics, or functional genomics will add to the cost.

Further Readings

  1. Review Articles in Genomic Journals:
    • Discussions on the latest sequencing technologies.
    • Comparative analyses of sequencing platforms.
    • Case studies on fungal genome projects.
  2. Books on Genomic Sequencing:
    • Books covering the principles of genomic sequencing.
    • Manuals on laboratory methods for WGS.
  3. Cost Analysis Studies:
    • Research papers that provide cost analyses of genomic sequencing projects.
    • Economic evaluations of sequencing technologies.
  4. Technical Guides from Sequencing Providers:
    • Technical and user guides from companies like Illumina, PacBio, and Oxford Nanopore that outline the sequencing process and associated costs.
  5. Bioinformatics Texts:
    • Resources on the bioinformatics of sequence assembly, annotation, and analysis.
    • Guides on data management and storage solutions for genomic data.
  6. Research Grants and Funding Bodies Reports:
    • Reports from research grants where WGS was a component, often including budget justifications.
    • Publications from funding bodies like the NIH, which might include information on the average costs of sequencing projects.
  7. Market Research Reports:
    • Commercial reports that analyze the genome sequencing market.
    • Trends in sequencing technology developments and their impact on costs.
  8. Scientific Blogs and Community Forums:
    • Blogs by scientists and technologists focusing on genomics.
    • Forums such as SEQanswers or Reddit’s r/genomics where practitioners discuss sequencing projects and costs.
  9. Sequencing Core Facility Websites:
    • University and research institution core facilities often list their pricing and services, which can provide a real-world glimpse into current costs.
  10. Government and Health Organization Publications:
    • WHO and CDC publications on genomics and infectious disease surveillance can sometimes include information on sequencing costs.
  11. Conference Proceedings and Workshops:
    • Presentations and workshops from conferences like the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) or the Plant and Animal Genome Conference (PAG).

Leave a Comment