Current Developments in Prokaryotic Single Cell Whole Genome Amplification
Our approach to prokaryotic single-cell Whole Genome Amplification at the JGI continues to evolve. To increase both the quality and number of single-cell genomes produced, we explore all aspects of the process from cell sorting to sequencing. For example, we now utilize specialized reagents, acoustic liquid handling, and reduced reaction volumes eliminate non-target DNA contamination in WGA reactions. More specifically, we use a cleaner commercial WGA kit from Qiagen that employs a UV decontamination procedure initially developed at the JGI, and we use the Labcyte Echo for tip-less liquid transfer to set up 2uL reactions. Acoustic liquid handling also dramatically reduces reagent costs. In addition, we are exploring new cell lysis methods including treatment with Proteinase K, lysozyme, and other detergents, in order to complement standard alkaline lysis and allow for more efficient disruption of a wider range of cells. Incomplete lysis represents a major hurdle for WGA on some environmental samples, especially rhizosphere, peatland, and other soils. Finding effective lysis strategies that are also compatible with WGA is challenging, and we are currently assessing the impact of various strategies on genome recovery.