Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have profoundly impacted biological research and have triggered numerous ground-breaking discoveries. This has helped in advancing scientific fields from human disease research to agriculture and evolutionary science. Large-scale genomic and transcriptomic sequencing studies now prefer NGS due to its advantages of the high-throughput processing, outputs of sequencing data in the gigabase range per instrument run, and lower cost as compared to the traditional Sanger sequencing technique. Although NGS technology is closely related with sequencing large genomes, especially human genomes, the scalability of the technique makes it suitable even for small viral or bacterial genomes. Thus, high scalability of NGS technology offer researchers the flexibility to design studies that best meet the requirements of their research.

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NGS platforms enable a wide range of applications, allowing researchers to analyse genome, transcriptome, and epigenome of any biological entity. Though the NGS based experiments are quite easy to perform, library preparation is a critical part of the NGS workflow and successful sequencing requires generation of high-quality libraries of sufficient yield and quality. In order to produce high performance yield and quality of reads for further research activities, there is a growing need for skilled professionals to perform such tasks efficiently. Moreover, with the decreasing cost of sequencing and the increasing number of sequence reads being generated, appropriate data analysis is an important factor to consider for optimum utilization of NGS by the larger research community.

Recent advances in fourth generation technologies, such as single molecule real-time (SMRT) and nanopore sequencing technologies have enabled high-quality assemblies from long and inaccurate reads. However, these approaches require high coverage by long reads and the use of this technology remains expensive. On the other hand, the inexpensive short reads technologies produce accurate, but fragmented assemblies. Thus, the combination of these techniques is leading to a new improved approach known as hybrid sequencing. The hybrid sequencing is a recently developed method which utilizes the high-throughput and high-accuracy short read data to correct errors in the long reads. This approach reduces the required amount of costlier long read sequence data and also results in more complete assemblies.

With technological advancements in NGS, plummeting cost of sequencing, and increasing focus on genomic research, there is a growing demand for NGS services across various fields in life sciences research. To leverage the growth opportunities, companies are offering a broad array of NGS services for a wide spectrum of sample types at highly competitive and cost-effective prices. According to a recent study published by Meticulous Research®, the global NGS services market is expected to grow at CAGR of 20.5% to reach $13.1 billion by 2025.

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