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Scientists develop tool to sequence circular DNA

Date: 16 May 2020 Tags: Biotechnology


A new tool invented by biologists to sequence circular DNA will provide scientists with richer, more accurate data that could help advance research on viruses, agriculture and perhaps even cancer.



CIDER-Seq combines PCR-free virus enrichment with Single Molecule Real Time sequencing and a new sequence de-concatenation algorithm. 



  • The tool called CIDER-Seq, which uses DNA sequencing technology called PacBio—was made available online by the researchers for other scientists to use, along with step-by-step lab and computer protocols for analyzing the DNA sequences.

  • Circular DNA is common in the genomes of bacteria and viruses. Recently, scientists discovered circular DNA within the nuclei of human and plant cells, called extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA).

  • This little-understood type of circular DNA is also commonly found in cancer cells, and might even be linked with their ability to multiply rapidly.

  • Researchers have begun to investigate the role eccDNA plays in cancer, but progress has been hampered by a lack of effective methods for studying and sequencing it.

  • The new tool may be particularly helpful to agricultural scientists, because many viruses that infect crops have circular DNA.