Coronavirus Identification by Metagenomic Sequencing Protocol

Sample Preparation

1. Pool intestinal contents of experimentally infected guinea fowl poults and resuspend in 500 μl PBS with penicillin and streptomycin. Vortex.
2. Filter (0.45 μm filter) the solution to eliminate eukaryotic- and bacterial-cell-sized particles.
3. Centrifuge the digestive content at 10,000 × g for 30 min twice to clarify the solution and collect the supernatant in a new tube.

Concentration of Viral Particles

1. Pellet the concentrated material by ultracentrifugation at 100,000 × g for 2 h.
2. Treat with RNAse and DNAse to remove non-particle-protected nucleic acids: make a mix of 500 μl of sample, 10 μl DNAse (100 U), 12 μl RNAse (20 μg/μl), 60 μl 10× DNAse buffer, 16 μl PBS. Incubate the mix for 20 min at 37 °C and then 10 min at 75 °C to stop the reaction.

RNA Extraction and Amplification

1. Add 750 μl TRIzol to 250 μl sample, step 2 and incubate 5 min at room temperature.
2. Add 200 μl chloroform, vortex vigorously, and incubate 10 min at room temperature.
3. Centrifuge for 15 min at 11,000 × g at 4 °C.
4. Collect the top aqueous phase.
5. Extract RNA from 150 μl of the collected aqueous phase on a silicate column with a RNA extraction kit.
6. Perform a reverse transcription reaction using random primers by mixing 7.5 μl RNA, 5 μl tagged random hexamer.
7. Incubate at 65 °C for 5 min then keep on ice.
8. Add 4 μl 5× reaction buffer, 0.5 μl RNase inhibitor, 2 μl dNTP, and 1 μl RevertAid reverse transcriptase.
9. Incubate at 25 °C for 10 min, 42 °C for 60 min, and 70 °C for 10 min.
10. Reactions can now be stored at −20 °C or used immediately for PCR.
11. Perform a random PCR by mixing 10 μl 5× Phusion HF reaction buffer, 1 μl dNTP, 0.5 μl tag only primer, 5 μl cDNA, 0.5 μl Phusion polymerase, and 33 μl water.
12. Perform PCR using the following cycle: 98 °C 30 s followed by 40 cycles of 98 °C 10 s, 65 °C 20 s, and 72 °C 30 s followed by a final incubate of 72 °C 10 min.
13. Analyze the PCR products on a 1 % agarose gel, migrate for 1 h at 60 V.
14. Excise the 300 bp bands and perform a gel purification with a commercial kit.
15. Quality assessment of the prepared library: quantify the DNA generated by a fluorescence-based method (PicoGreen® quantitation assay) and aim at 1 μg DNA as input; check the DNA quality and aim for a 260:280 ratio >1.8.

Cluster Generation Using the Miseq Reagent Kit (Illumina)

1. Hybridize sample to flow cell.
2. Amplify sample (bridge amplification).
3. Linearize fragments.
4. Block fragments.
5. Hybridize sequencing primer.

Sequencing on the Miseq (Illumina)

1. The library DNA fragment act as a template, from which a complementary strand is synthesized.
2. ddNTPs are added one by one (one cycle = one ddNTP added, a picture taken and defluoration of the ddNTP to be able to add a new ddNTP the next cycle) by a DNA polymerase. The addition of ddNTP is digitally recorded as sequence data cycle after cycle.

Data Analysis

1. Preprocess the data to remove adapter sequences and demultiplexing using splitbc (several samples can be multiplexed and run together on the MiSeq Illumina sequencer to reduce cost).
2. Preprocess the data to remove low-quality reads and compiling paired sequences using illuminapairedend.
3. Map the data to a reference genome or de novo align the sequence reads (alignment with bwa, consensus computed with the SAMtools software package. Display the results with the IGV browser).
4. Analyze the compiled sequence with the GAAS software with an expected value of 10−3.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
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