DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI) Breaks the Terabase Barrier


The JGI is a national user facility located in Walnut Creek, CA. In FY 2009, the JGI promised that it would sequence 253 billion (253 Gigabases, Gb) bases of DNA from microbes, plants, and complex biological communities engaged in biology relevant to DOE missions in bioenergy, biogeochemistry, and carbon cycling. They didn’t just reach this goal. Instead, aided by new sequencing technologies, they sequenced 1003.9 billion, or a trillion base pairs (a Terabase) of DNA, exceeding their FY 2009 goal by a factor of 4 and their entire FY 2008 production by a factor of 8. The power of these sequencing technologies is being focused on mission relevant projects, including sequencing for the three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers and user-driven microbial, fungal and plant projects. The extraordinary new capacity also is the foundation for the JGI’s sequencing of the complete DNA of multi-species natural biological communities, through which many microorganisms are being identified which cannot be isolated from the community for sequencing. All resulting data are rapidly made freely available to the public.