Rubicon Genomics, Inc. announced the release of its PicoPlex Single Cell Whole Genome Amplification (WGA) kit. This product targets the pre-implantation genetic diagnostics (PGD), cancer research and stem cell research markets, which require rapid, reproducible amplification to profile patient genotypes, karyotypes and mutations. PicoPlex enables reference labs to begin qPCR, microarray or sequencing analysis less than three hours after collecting patient cells.
“With the PicoPlex Single Cell WGA kit, researchers can obtain the same amount of genomic information from one cell as they do from 10,000 cells,” said James Koziarz, acting president and CEO of Rubicon Genomics.
“We use the PicoPlex Single Cell WGA technology because it reproducibly amplifies a large percentage of the genome every time,” said Mark Hughes, CEO of Genesis Genetics Institute, a pioneer in pre-implantation genomics diagnostics that has evaluated dozens of single cell WGA technologies over the past 16 years. “And the few genomic alleles that are under-represented in the one-cell WGA are predictable, making the data sets easy to anticipate and accommodate. We like the predictability of this product when examining many alleles from single haploid and diploid cells.”
Researchers can use the PicoPlex Single Cell WGA kits to reliably extract more genetic information from single cells with minimal background. Specifically, the kit reproducibly amplifies total DNA one million-fold from single cells to produce five micrograms of amplified DNA in less than three hours.
Current single-cell WGA kits using molecular displacement amplification (MDA) technology do not offer reproducible amplification of whole genomes, causing sporadic allele and locus dropouts, which seriously compromise results in PGD. Hence, microarray and qPCR genetic analysis of single cells using MDA-amplified DNA is noisy and produces unreliable data.
Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) technology has historically been used to examine the chromosomes in PGD, but many laboratories are moving away from this subjective assessment of one cell. Newer technologies employ qPCR and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) on microarrays. These require high fidelity, genome-wide DNA amplification technology. With PicoPlex Single Cell WGA, researchers can now confidently employ microarrays and qPCR for more accurate genotyping, karotyping and copy number variation analysis from single cells.
PicoPlex’s ability to amplify genomic DNA from single cells opens new avenues for research on embryos, stem cells and cancer cells. For oncologists, the PicoPlex Single Cell WGA kit may enable more specific diagnosis or prognosis using a patient’s circulating cancer cells. Additionally, it enables the study of heterogeneity of cancer cells creating a better understanding of the broader range of gene expression in each cell, helping researchers potentially identify more specific cancer biomarkers.