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MRI: Acquisition of a genomic sequencer within a shared resource facility for interdisciplinary sciences and training at Oklahoma State University

Ronald Van Den Bussche; Muriana, Peter; Fishbein, Mark; Chen, Charles; Doust, Andrew
Oklahoma State University
Start date
End date
An award is made to Oklahoma State University (OSU) to acquire an Illumina NextSeq500 genomic sequencer. Sequencing technologies are essential to STEM curricula that include bioinformatics at all student levels. The NextSeq will provide hands-on undergraduate research experiences. The instrument will be used to enhance the development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce through the Bioinformatics Certificate Graduate Program, designed to improve academic and workforce employability of graduate students. The project will enhance research from interdisciplinary users including faculty from Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Botany, Integrative Biology, Plant and Soil Science, Animal Science, Veterinary Sciences, Microbiology, Plant and Soil Science, Entomology, Zoology, and many more. The instrument will dramatically improve capacity to identify pathogens in metagenomics studies for forensics of food contamination including improved national security through the National Institute for Microbial Forensics & Food and Agricultural Biosecurity program which seeks to rapidly identify pathogens related to bioterrorism. The project will benefit society by strengthening genetic marker breeding research in wheat, beef, and many other agriculturally important crops and animals. Existing interdisciplinary programs that require significant sequencing such as the Wheat Improvement Team, The Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Disease, and the Bioenergy Center will benefit.

The NextSeq500 is a high-throughput sequencing machine capable of generating up to 120 giga-base-pairs of sequence data per run. This instrument has the capacity needed for eukaryotic de novo genome sequencing, RNA-seq experiments, metagenomic experiments, and other modern high-throughput data experiments at low cost and rapid turnaround. Access to this instrument will strengthen research, research training, collaborations, and outreach across multiple interdisciplinary programs at Oklahoma State University, including existing national leadership programs in agricultural breeding, plant virus biodiversity, plant bioterrorism forensics, population genetics of bald and golden eagles in collaboration with Native American tribes in Oklahoma, collaborative projects with regional institutions including targeted breeding at Langston University (an HBCU), environmental metagenomics projects related to evolution, climate, ecosystem remediation, and multiple de novo sequencing projects of non-model organisms. Undergraduate students will be trained by collecting and sequencing environmental specimens and learning associated bioinformatics in classes and workshops. This instrument strategically complements existing cyberinfrastructure for data management, high throughput data, and big data analyses at OSU.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
Food Defense and Integrity
Bacterial Pathogens
Education and Training