Illumina has begun shipping its new HumanOmni2.5-Quad DNA Analysis BeadChip (Omni2.5). The microarray contains millions of newly discovered genome-wide common and rare variants from the 1,000 Genomes Project (1kGP), selected to maximise its ability to detect new associations.

Illumina said that the array provides up to 50% more coverage of human genome variation. The Omni2.5 delivers genome coverage for both SNP and copy number variation (CNV) analysis, while retaining the data quality and simple workflow that has made Infinium arrays the gold standard GWAS analysis tool.

Omni2.5 is delivered in a high-throughput 4-sample format for a total of approximately 10 million markers per array, providing immediate utility for the next-generation of GWAS. It is compatible with an iScan or HiScan System.

In addition, Illumina is also shipping: The HumanOmni1S-8 BeadChip, which provides a simple upgrade path for current or former users of Illumina’s Omni1-Quad or OmniExpress BeadChips, enabling researchers to easily access new 1kGP content without having to purchase the Omni2.5.

Illumina said that the new sample preparation workflow allows researchers to save time and money while taking advantage of the 2010 GWAS roadmap. The new workflow allows researchers to prepare their DNA samples once and process them across multiple arrays in the Omni family, such as the Omni1 or OmniExpress and Omni1S, or the Omni2.5 and, later this year, the Omni2.5S.

As with all other Infinium HD products, the Omni1S and Omni2.5 BeadChips support CNV analyses for disease-association studies and are fully compatible with Illumina’s automation solutions for processing hundreds to thousands of samples on a weekly basis.

David Bentley, vice president and chief scientist at Illumina, said: “The vast amount of data emerging from resequencing efforts exemplified by the international 1000 Genomes Project, together with informed SNP selection by a group of researchers, enables next-generation GWAS. We’ve reached a pivotal time in genetics when many millions of new variants are becoming available as the result of next-gen sequencing.”