Performance assessment of DNA sequencing platforms in the ABRF Next-Generation Sequencing Study

Nat Biotechnol. 2021 Sep;39(9):1129-1140. doi: 10.1038/s41587-021-01049-5. Epub 2021 Sep 9.


Assessing the reproducibility, accuracy and utility of massively parallel DNA sequencing platforms remains an ongoing challenge. Here the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) Next-Generation Sequencing Study benchmarks the performance of a set of sequencing instruments (HiSeq/NovaSeq/paired-end 2 × 250-bp chemistry, Ion S5/Proton, PacBio circular consensus sequencing (CCS), Oxford Nanopore Technologies PromethION/MinION, BGISEQ-500/MGISEQ-2000 and GS111) on human and bacterial reference DNA samples. Among short-read instruments, HiSeq 4000 and X10 provided the most consistent, highest genome coverage, while BGI/MGISEQ provided the lowest sequencing error rates. The long-read instrument PacBio CCS had the highest reference-based mapping rate and lowest non-mapping rate. The two long-read platforms PacBio CCS and PromethION/MinION showed the best sequence mapping in repeat-rich areas and across homopolymers. NovaSeq 6000 using 2 × 250-bp read chemistry was the most robust instrument for capturing known insertion/deletion events. This study serves as a benchmark for current genomics technologies, as well as a resource to inform experimental design and next-generation sequencing variant calling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Base Pair Mismatch
  • Benchmarking
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Genome, Human
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / standards*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA