We have been running three Perkin Elmer 373s at our sequencing facility in Brisbane,
Australia during the last two and a half years. We have trialled a Pharmacia ALF (not the
express) and last month tested a Licor 4000l. We have had communications with the Vistra
people but they felt their machine could not produce the high throughput we need.
The Licor performed very well with our sequencing control DNA ( pGem + -21M13 primer) reading
960 bases in 20 hours with 4 errors.
The ALF had some hardware and software difficulties during a 3 week trial and produced ~250
bases, in 12 hours.
Our 373s produce 450 bases with 98.5% accuracy on the control DNA in 12 hours.
The comparison between the 373's and the Licor is 1. Price - A$200,000 for a 373, A$80,000
for a licor.
2. Throughput - 36 DNA samples in 12 hours on a373, 16 samples on the Licor in 12-20 hours.
Your budget and level of demand will dictate the eqipment you purchase, but I feel Perkin
Elmer and Licor sequencers perform very well. You should investigate the level of customer
support for which ever company you decide on, as this can become a critical factor. Check on
cost and types of sequencing kits you can run on your equipment too. We know of Scientific
establishments in Australia that have bought at the cheaper end of the market and have had to
upgrade their equipment within 12 months because of poor data and service difficulties. These
purchases ultimately become very expensive. email me if you would like more detailed