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xGen™ SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panels

Targeted sequencing to research SARS-CoV-2 viral genomics

Overlapping primers produce 99.7% genomic coverage of SARS-CoV-2 lineages. These consistent primers obtain sequence data from viral concentrations as low as 10–100 viral copies without the need to evaluate new primer sets for emerging lineages.

xGen™ NGS—made for COVID-19 research.

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The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panels enable identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants from research samples such as nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs, sputa, stool, and wastewater. The xGen ACE2 Gene Amplicon Panel amplifies the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 gene which has been proven to be the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor [1]. The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Sgene panel amplifies the viral gene for the spike protein only.

The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panels support:

  • 99.7% genomic coverage
  • Full genomic coverage of lineages from a single primer set
  • Sequence data from viral titers as low as 10–100 viral copies
  • cDNA-to-sequencer in 3 hours
  • Up to 1536 UDIs

† See Product Data section for more information.

Kevin Kunstman and Stefan Green
Rush University Medical Center
In the first omicron sample we detected, we sequenced 99.9% of the genome, and a highly-robust consensus sequence was generated. In examining the alignments, we were able to identify so-called ‘super amplicons’ that improve coverage of regions that have mutations in primersites for shorter amplicons. Overall, we have been very pleased with the performance of the IDT kit and primer set during the constantly evolving pandemic.

Product details

xGen SARS-CoV-2 Panels, previously known as Swift Normalase™ Amplicon Panel (SNAP) SARS-CoV-2 enables researchers to identify SARS-CoV-2 strains, including variants, by creating next generation sequencing (NGS) libraries. The sequencing data can then answer research questions, such as:

  • Which viral strains account for most infections within a local population? 
  • What new strains are emerging?

IDT’s predesigned amplicon panels for COVID research can aid in identifying the extent and pattern of viral spread within a population and allow researchers to quantify the effectiveness of intervention measures.

The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel enables identification of SARS-CoV-2 variants from a wide array of research sample types such as nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs, sputa, stool, and wastewater. This panel covers 99.7% of the SARS-CoV-2 genome for identification of mutations from alpha and delta strains (see Product Data).

The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Sgene Amplicon Panel provides 100% coverage of the gene which encodes for the spike protein in the virus that causes COVID-19. Identify the presence of emerging viral strains which contain mutations in the Sgene and model potential changes in transmission patterns based upon those mutations.

The xGen ACE2 Gene Amplicon Panel contains 41 amplicons with an average size of 150 bp that provides comprehensive coverage of all coding regions of ACE2. Sequencing ACE2 has the potential to provide insight into disease outcome and facilitate further epidemiological investigations.

cDNA-to-sequencer in 3 hours

To sequence SARS-CoV-2 viral genomic material, first prepare first- or second-strand cDNA from samples such as nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs, sputa, stool, or wastewater (Figure 1). Generate an NGS library using tiled primer pairs in a single tube to target the 29.9 kb viral genome. Primers were designed against the NCBI Reference Sequence NC_045512.2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 isolate Wuhan-Hu-1, complete genome) (Table 1). Following a positive result by qPCR, use excess cDNA to perform variant calling and identify the viral strain.

Figure 1. One-tube workflow prepares normalized libraries from cDNA in 3 hours by replacing qPCR library quantification and normalization with the proprietary Normalase™ technology (included in the kit).

Table 1. NGS for SARS-CoV-2 specifications.

FeaturesSpecifications
Design coverage and panel information
  • 99.7% (29,828 of 29,903 total bases)
  • 345 amplicons, sized 116-255 bp (average 150 bp)
Input material
  • 1st or 2nd strand cDNA
  • Minimum 10 – 100+ viral copies (qRT- PCR Ct value 30-40)
Time2 hours cDNA-to-Library
3 hours cDNA-to-Normalized-Library Pool
Multiplexing capability
  • Up to 384 CDIs
  • Up to 1,536 UDIs
Compatible with other indexes?Yes
Recommended depth
  • Identification: 50K reads/library
  • Variant calling: 1M reads per library

Product data

99.7% SARS-CoV-2 genomic coverage

The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel uses overlapping primers to generate 345 amplicons, sized 116-255 bp (average 150 bp), along the length of the 29.9 kb viral genome, obtaining 99.7% coverage of the genome (Figure 2). Overlapping primers ensure that variants are identified, even when the mutation interferes with a primer binding site. Comprehensive mutation identification is crucial for tracking nucleotide variants and improve understanding of virus evolution, transmission, and pathogenesis.

The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel uses overlapping primers to generate 345 amplicons, 116-255 bp in size (average 150 bp), covering 99.7% of the 29.9 kb viral genome. Overlapping primers ensure that novel variants are detected, even if the mutation results in a dropout of one of the amplicons (Figure 2).

Comprehensive mutation detection is crucial for research tracking nucleotide variants, and improving the understanding of virus evolution, transmission, and pathogenesis.

Figure 2. The xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel provides 99.7% coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. RNA was isolated from gamma-irradiated and sonicated cell lysate from Vero E6 cultured monkey kidney epithelial cells (ATCC® CRL-1586™) infected with SARS-CoV-2 isolate USA-WA1/2020 (BEI Resources, Cat. No. NR-52287). 100,000 copies of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was converted into cDNA using the SuperScript™ IV Kit (Thermo Fisher). The resulting NGS library generated with the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel was sequenced 2 x 150 bp on a MiniSeq® System (Illumina). Resulting reads were downsampled to 280k reads per sample (N=2) for analysis. Genomic coverage for a representative sample is shown.

Full genomic coverage of lineages with a single primer set

Using a single, consistent primer set, xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel has been shown to cover multiple lineages, including sub-lineages of Omicron (Figure 3), Delta, and Alpha (Figure 4).. The primer set has remained unchanged since its release in 2020, preventing the need for frequent changes to primer designs.

Figure 3. Two representative examples of sequence coverage obtained from omicron SARS-CoV-2 RNA. RNA was extracted from nasopharyngeal swabs and converted into cDNA using the SuperScript IV Kit (Thermo Fisher). The resulting library generated with the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel was sequenced 2 x 150 bp on a MiniSeq System (Illumina). Resulting reads were downsampled to 83,000 reads per sample for analysis. Genomic coverage for two BA.1 lineages is shown. Ct values are 13.6 and 19.9. [A total of 93 biological research samples that exhibited S gene dropout by qPCR were analyzed, 90 of which were identified as omicron variants.]

Figure 4. An example of coverages obtained from B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.2, B.1.1.64, B.1.298, B.1.429 (epsilon), B.1.617.2 (delta), and AY.3 (delta) SARS-CoV-2. RNA was extracted from nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs and converted into cDNA using the SuperScript IV Kit (Thermo Fisher). The resulting library generated with the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel was sequenced 2 x 150 bp on a MiniSeq System (Illumina). Resulting reads were downsampled to 83,000 reads per sample for analysis. Genomic coverage for a representative sample per lineage is shown.

Research Investigation

Case Study I Genemarkers, LLC

Genemarkers, LLC, and Swift Biosciences collaborated to identify mutations and variants from SARS-CoV-2 samples sourced in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Samples were anticipated to be U.K. variants (B.1.1.7) due to the observation of S gene dropout in PCR testing. After generating an NGS library with the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel and sequencing, the mutation pattern of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 was not observed in one sample, leading to clarification on variants present in the Kalamazoo area.

Obtain genomes from viral titers as low as 10–100 viral copies

10 to 1 million viral genome copies (Figure 5) are sufficient to generate NGS libraries using the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel. Mixed RNA samples were converted into first strand cDNA and used to create sequencing libraries with the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel. Libraries were enzymatically normalized to 4 nM using the Normalase workflow.

Figure 5. Obtain genomes from as few as 10–100 viral copies. SARS-CoV-2 RNA USA-WA1/2020 (BEI Resources, Cat. No. NR-52287) was mixed with UHR RNA (Agilent 740000) and converted into first-strand cDNA using the Superscript® IV First-Strand Synthesis System (Thermo Fisher 18091050). The resulting library generated with the xGen SARS-CoV-2 Amplicon Panel was sequenced on a MiniSeq System (Illumina) at 2 x 150 bp. Resulting reads were downsampled to 280k reads per sample (N=2). Genomic copies identified are shown.

References

  1. Yan R, Zhang Y, Li Y, et al. Structural basis for the recognition of SARS-CoV-2 by full-length human ACE2. Science (New York, NY). 2020;367(6485):1444-1448.

*RUO—For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. Unless otherwise agreed to in writing, IDT does not intend for these products to be used in clinical applications and does not warrant their fitness or suitability for any clinical diagnostic use. Purchaser is solely responsible for all decisions regarding the use of these products and any associated regulatory or legal obligations.

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