Cost-Efficient and Flexible Sequencing on the G4

March 20, 2023

Over the last 20 years, sequencing costs have significantly declined. The cost of sequencing a human genome has decreased from about $100,000,000 in 2001 to just under $1,000 in 20211. However, little has been done to improve operational flexibility in laboratories to maximize sequencing cost efficiency. Most sequencing platforms are built with high-capacity flow cells that are often under-utilized, resulting in wasted reagents that drive up sequencing costs. To mitigate reagent loss and increased costs, labs often resort to pooling samples to fill flow cells which increases the time it takes to get results. Designed to address the current limitations in the sequencing industry, the G4™ Sequencing Platform is engineered with unique operational flexibility resulting in the most cost-efficient option on the market.

Measuring Cost-Efficiency in Sequencing
Traditionally, price per Gb of sequencing data has been used to compare cost-efficiency between sequencing platforms, but price per Gb is calculated assuming a complete utilization of flow cell capacity. However, there are compromises laboratories make to use an entire flow cell at capacity; some may include batching samples and incurring long turnaround times or running samples to meet rapid turnaround times and waste capacity and reagents, both resulting in higher costs per Gb of data generated and per sample sequenced.

A goal for laboratory operations is to maximize the cost of their reagents to ultimately get more data and higher sample throughput for the money, while spending only what is necessary. However, most sequencing platforms only operate using high-capacity flow cells and large sample preparation kits forcing laboratories to spend money on reagents they may not need.

The G4 is designed with unique operational flexibility that enables laboratories to control sequencing costs while lowering sample turnaround times.

Cost-Efficient Sequencing is Achieved and Optimized with the G4 Sequencing Platform
Unlike competing sequencing platforms that offer only 2 or 3 high-capacity flow cells, the G4 is built with a scalable 4 flow cell capacity for ultimate run flexibility and optimal flow cell utility. The G4 accommodates 2 read densities, the F2 and F3 flow cells. The F2 and F3 flow cells can be combined into 8 different configurations that provide flexibility within each instrument run. Paired with 16 individually addressable lanes across the 4 flow cells, laboratories can more easily manage projects, mitigate sample contamination and barcoding incompatibility, and improve operational efficiency.

The G4 gives users the flexibility to combine F2 and F3 flow cells to match the capacity required to sequence a specific number of samples, eliminating the need to hold samples for batching to make sequencing cost-effective. As a result, turnaround times can be shortened, and with less reagent and flow cell capacity wasted, sample costs are more consistent across runs.

How Does the G4™ Compare to Other Sequencing Platforms?
An interactive sample cost comparison tool has been developed that demonstrates how the G4 performs against the NextSeq 2000. This tool compares flow cell configurations, calculates the cost per sample per run, and displays run times for various sample batch sizes by application. Applications include shotgun metagenomics, transcriptomes, exomes, small RNA, and single cell sequencing.

The shotgun metagenomics example shown (Figure 1) compares the sequencing of 48 shotgun metagenomic samples on the G4 Platform and on the NextSeq 2000. The results demonstrate that sequencing on the G4 results in a significant reduction in wasted flow cell capacity compared to the NextSeq 2000. Sequencing costs per sample on the G4 are about 3x less than on the NextSeq 2000, while sequencing run times are about 2x faster.

Figure 1 A comparison of G4 Platform performance to the NextSeq 2000 for sequencing of shotgun metagenomic samples. Data was generated using Singular Genomics’ interactive cost comparison tool.

To see more examples of the cost efficiency of the G4 Sequencing Platform as compared to the NextSeq 2000, visit our cost efficiency webpage.

The Sequencing Power of the G4™
Many features of the G4 work in concert to contribute to its cost-efficiency, flexibility, accuracy, speed, and power. With its unique flow cell design, customizable run configurations, and the ability to manage projects by run, flow cell, or lane, the G4 lends unprecedented operational flexibility to sequencing workflows (Figure 2A). A novel chemistry and proprietary imaging technology contribute to the accuracy and speed that result in high quality reads and lower cycle times (Figure 2B). Together, these key features enable unmatched power and throughput (Figure 2C). The G4 delivers accurate results (80-90% of bases > Q30) with a single-day turnaround.

Figure 2 (A-C). Metrics comparing the performance of the G4 Sequencing Platform with competitor systems.

The G4 Platform is the most flexible and cost-efficient sequencing platform on the market. Laboratories no longer need to pay for unused flow cell capacity or wait to accumulate enough samples for a cost-effective run. Singular Genomics is committed to delivering faster, more flexible, and cost-efficient sequencing for every lab.

Are you ready for cost-efficient sequencing? Request a quote or schedule time with a member of the Singular Genomics team to learn more about the transformative capabilities of the G4 Sequencing Platform.


  1. National Human Genome Research Institute. “Cost of sequencing a full human genome.” Our World in [Accessed Jan 06, 2023]

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