Whole genome and transcriptome amplification in large biobanks

Coordinator:    Prof. Dr. Dr. Erich H. Wichmann
Institution: Helmholz Zentrum München,                             Institute of Epidemiology (EPI)
Coordinator: Dr. Christian Korfhage

Institution:   Qiagen GmbH


Biobanks are a key resource in unravelling the molecular basis of diseases, identification of new targets for therapy and improvement of attribution in drug discovery and development. Biological materials collected in biobanks for biomedical research typically comprise DNA, tissues, cells, blood or other body fluids. But, once these archived materials have been used up the sample and the clinical information linked to this sample is no longer available for further studies. The scientific trend in biobanking shows the need for stable techniques for amplification of biomaterial, which can be used for samples stored under very different conditions. The focus of the project is the standardisation and validation of the innovative techniques of whole genome amplification (WGA) and whole transcriptome amplification (WTA) in the context of biobanks. A general standardized protocol for WGA and WTA procedures that use Phi29-DNA-polymerase in biobanking has been developed.

The major aims of the project were:

1. To establish standardized WGA protocols for large biobanks

2. To develop standardized WGA tools to recover genomic DNA, which is in plasma, serum samples, from FFPE- tissue or blood spots

3. To optimize the WGA procedure by extensive quality control measures of WGA products

4. To develop and establish WTA of large biobank samples

5. To optimize WTA procedures by extensive quality control of WTA products

Furthermore, the concept of SP3 was to transfer the results of WGA and WTA solution to national and international organisations in the field of biobanking. The development of the proposed, innovative and specialized tools and customized solutions for biobanks expands and secures the competitiveness of German research and industry in a global context.

Latest results can be found in detail in the descriptions of the subprojects.
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