DNA sequencers were used in the sequencing of the human genome. These instruments automatically read the nucleotide sequence of chromosomal and cytosolic DNA (the genome). These sequencers enabled sequencing at speeds 100- to 1000-fold faster than manual sequencing. In recent years, next-generation sequencers have been developed that increase sequencing speed by another 100- to 1000-fold. This innovative technological development has made it possible to obtain not only the nucleotide sequences of genomic DNA, but also genome-based information such as the transcriptome, the type and amount of RNA (a mediator between genes and traits) present, and the epigenome, the changes in genomic structure that influence the effects of genes. Thus, in order to systematically collect sequence information on a large scale, a Sequencing Center equipped with a number of next-generation sequencers will be established. The Sequencing Center will produce various data, develop technologies that can ensure the accuracy of sequence information produced by next-generation sequencers, and analyze the location of sequences on the genome and putative functions encoded by those sequences in cooperation with the Data Analysis Center (primary analysis).
This program will establish a Data Analysis Center equipped with computer resources sufficient to handle the vast
amount of data produced by the Sequencing Center. In cooperation with the Leading Research Projects, the Data
Analysis Center will analyze primary Sequencing Center data to help understand the biological significance and
association between the various data generated (secondary analysis).
Primary and secondary analysis data, along with other data produced by the Leading Research Projects, will be compiled into databases, integrating existing data, including results from the Genome Network Project, to construct a platform for understanding complex intracellular biological phenomena.
Research projects linking data from the application of next-generation sequencers to cellular function analysis are
classified into two categories: Project A and Project B.
Studies in Project A utilize various data obtained through the next-generation sequencers at the Sequencing Center to analyze transcriptome behavior and structural changes in genes and chromosomes in target cells of interest. Simultaneous studies focus on development of imaging technology to visualize cellular status using biomarkers such as GFP (green fluorescent protein), as well as studies in systems biology whose aim is to understand the cell as a system, in order to clarify cellular function. Studies in Project B seek to develop innovative next-generation sequencer technology to acquire cellular function information that cannot be obtained using conventional technologies, and then, investigate cellular functions using the acquired information.
Summary of the Cell Innovation Program