Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Whole genome reconstruction of bacterial pathogens has become an important tool for tracking transmission and antimicrobial resistance gene spread, but highly accurate and complete assemblies have largely only historically been achievable using hybrid long and short-read sequencing. We previously found the Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) R10.4/kit12 flowcell/chemistry produced improved assemblies over the R9.4.1/kit10 combination, however long-read only assemblies contained more errors compared to Illumina-ONT hybrid assemblies. ONT have since released an R10.4.1/kit14 flowcell/chemistry upgrade and recommended the use of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) during library preparation, both of which reportedly increase accuracy and yield. They have also released updated basecallers trained using native bacterial DNA containing methylation sites intended to fix systematic basecalling errors, including common adenosine (A) to guanine (G) and cytosine (C) to thymine (T) substitutions. To evaluate these improvements, we successfully sequenced four bacterial reference strains, namely Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, and nine genetically diverse E. coli bloodstream infection-associated isolates from different phylogroups and sequence types, both with and without BSA. These sequences were de novo assembled and compared against Illumina-corrected reference genomes. In this small evaluation of 13 isolates we found that nanopore long read-only R10.4.1/kit 14 assemblies with updated basecallers trained using bacterial methylated DNA produce accurate assemblies with ≥40x depth, sufficient to be cost-effective compared with hybrid ONT/Illumina sequencing in our setting.


Journal article


Microbial Genomics


Microbiology Society

Publication Date



genome assembly, bacteria, Nanopore, R10.4.1