opinions on auto sequencers

Lawrence Washington lwashing at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu
Thu Jun 20 05:05:04 EST 1996

Chris Spolsky wrote:
> > Our lab is considering buying an automated sequencer, and I would like
> > opinions on Licor and Alf sequencers, in comparison to the ABIapparatuses. 

Our experience is with LiCor and ABI377.  They are both well designed,
reasonably easy to use and produce lots of good data.  You would probably
be happy with either.  For our purposes (a core lab running a few hundred
samples per week) the two seem to fill slightly different niches.
LiCor gets longer reads, is less expensive to buy and run and is reputed
to be more accurate (I have not attempted to confirm this independantly). 
Some people prefer the autorad style images of LiCor's raw data.  ABI can
hold more samples per gel, which is good when massive throughput is more
important than read length.  ABI runs on Macintosh, which some people
prefer to LiCor's OS/2 based system.  There are currently more ABI's in
use, so it is the more familiar system.  There are some other differences
and pros and cons between the two.  Test them both if you have that luxury
and see which best suits your needs.  Incidently, LiCor has some of the
most enthusiastic and helpful technical support I have ever come across,
which can really come in handy when learning a new system.

And in response to this from Will Fischer:

> One final gripe about the Licor:  the
> software (OS/2 based) is not very sophisticated.  Contig assembly is
> painful.  The difference between Sequencher and the Licor software is
> like day and night.

Actually, Sequencher is a product of Gene Codes (Ann Arbor, MI), not ABI. 
LiCor data can also be assembled using Sequencher.  Neither LiCor's nor
ABI's basic gel running and reading software is designed for contig

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