High-throughput sequencing technologies offer new perspectives for biomedical, agronomical and evolutionary research. Promising progresses now concern the application of these technologies to large-scale studies of genetic variation. Such studies require the genotyping of high numbers of samples. This is theoretically possible using 454 pyrosequencing, which generates billions of base pairs of sequence data. However several challenges arise: first in the attribution of each read produced to its original sample, and second, in bioinformatic analyses to distinguish true from artifactual sequence variation. This pilot study proposes a new application for the 454 GS FLX platform, allowing the individual genotyping of thousands of samples in one run. A probabilistic model has been developed to demonstrate the reliability of this method.
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