According to the announcement, the TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping System provides life scientists with the ease-of-use, accuracy, and reproducibility of the TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays and TaqMan DME Assays in a flexible format. This system expands the potential uses of TaqMan technology across a wide range of genotyping applications, providing fast, high-sample-throughput validation and screening tool for researchers in agricultural, pharmaceutical, and other commercial industries, as well as academic institutions.
The TaqMan® OpenArray™ Genotyping Plates - these plates provide researchers with the flexibility to deploy TaqMan SNP Genotyping or Drug Metabolizing Enzyme (DME) Assays in many different configurations. Each TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping plate contains 3,072 through-holes arranged in 48 subarrays of 64 through-holes each.
Among the types of studies that should benefit from the use of this system are those that associate genotypes with complex diseases, ethnic ancestry, drug-treatment response, and traits for breeding and quality control in agricultural studies.
Researchers using this integrated platform can experience an end-to-end genotyping workflow of less than eight hours, enabling them to analyze thousands to tens of thousands of samples in days, in contrast to weeks or months, on alternative genotyping platforms, outlines the company. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping studies can also be performed in a cost-effective manner on this new platform, as the TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping System delivers a lower cost per genotype, compared to other commercially available platforms, coupled with a workflow requiring a minimal amount of user interaction.
“A faster, easier, more cost effective, high-sample-throughput genotyping solution that uses gold-standard TaqMan genotyping assays will be critical for advancing science in academic research, as well as industries such as health care, food, and agriculture ” said Peter Dansky, president for Applied Biosystems’ functional analysis division. “The TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping System will provide researchers and commercial organizations with a validation and screening tool that has the potential to dramatically improve genotyping efficiencies and simplify their workflows.”
The TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping System enables researchers to perform studies that investigate tens to hundreds of SNPs across thousands to tens of thousands of samples. This scale of genotyping study is often performed as part of breeding and quality control processes in the agricultural industry. In these applications, researchers investigate how SNPs from multiple genes contribute to measurable traits. These SNPs are then used as genetic markers for quality control testing, tracking, or selective breeding of crops and livestock.
Alternatively, large-scale population studies can involve tens of thousands of samples and also require high sample throughput technology to ensure efficient genotyping across candidate SNPs. For example, at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, a team of researchers are using the TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping System for large-scale population studies aimed at assessing the role of ethnic ancestry in complex genetic disease. In collaboration with Applied Biosystems, Dr. Michael F. Seldin, a professor of biological chemistry and medicine has developed a panel of TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays for determining continental origin and admixture proportions in common populations in America. During the past year, as an early access user of the system, Dr. Seldin has been able to perform more cost-effective genotyping projects that involve SNPs from these panels—64, 96 or 128—in large numbers of biological samples.
For example, his team is currently genotyping approximately 20,000 samples from participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term national health study that focuses on strategies for preventing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer and fracture in postmenopausal women, in order to examine ancestry association with various phenotypes in admixed subject groups including African Americans and Hispanic Americans.
“The TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping System enables a cost and labour efficient genotyping method for projects using tens to hundreds of defined SNPs and large numbers of samples,” said Dr. Seldin. “This platform increases the speed, simplicity, and efficiency of our studies. It also enables a high quantity of sample throughput with similar genotyping quality to that achieved by conventional TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays.”
Additionally, the flexible format of this new system allows researchers to perform genotyping studies using a range of SNPs and samples in each experiment.
The system includes an instrument platform, reagents, and consumables, with the main components consisting of the TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping Instrument Platform and TaqMan OpenArray Genotyping Plates that are pre-loaded with pre-designed or custom TaqMan SNP Genotyping or Drug Metabolizing Enzyme (DME) Assays. Researchers will be able to select genotyping assays from Applied Biosystems’ comprehensive line of more than 4.5 million individual pre-designed TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays, Custom TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assays, or TaqMan DME Genotyping Assays for detecting polymorphisms in the drug metabolism enzyme genes. Once customers receive their assays pre-loaded on TaqMan OpenArray plates, they will then use an automated sample loader to introduce their DNA samples into the arrays. After a short processing time, the OpenArray plates are read by the accompanying imaging system and analysis software to determine sample genotype.
The TaqMan Open Array Genotyping System is available in limited release from Applied Biosystems until January 2009, when global commercialization is expected to begin.