Human genomes standardised on microarrays

The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) will standardise the world’s largest human genomic copy number variation (CNV) study on Agilent microarrays.

The study is designed to determine genetic causes of certain widespread diseases. The samples will be processed by Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), an Agilent microarray Certified Service Provider located in Oxford, UK.

The first phase of the WTCCC involved a collaboration of 24 leading human geneticists who analysed more than 19,000 DNA samples from patients to identify genetic variants influencing disease susceptibility in: tuberculosis, coronary heart disease, types 1 and 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, bipolar disorder, autoimmune thyroid disease, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, breast cancer and hypertension. The research was conducted at a number of institutes throughout the UK, including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

Now, in a follow-up to this phase, Agilent will design and fabricate custom whole-genome CNV-focused microarrays, two-per-slide, with each array containing 105,000 probes. OGT and Agilent have developed a streamlined, highly automated protocol that includes the use of the Velocity11 Bravo robot for sample preparation to facilitate the enormous throughput required. Agilent acquired Velocity11 in December 2007.

‘This is an important new study of human genetic variation in common disease for which we require high-resolution microarrays with extremely reproducible performance,’ said Matthew Hurles, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, ‘We aim to characterise most common structural modifications of DNA that may play a causative role in these diseases. It is exciting, new territory.'

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