Difference Between Whole Genome Sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing

Our understanding of the human genome has grown tremendously over the last few decades, paralleled by the fast rise of sequence databases and bioinformatics tools. And the need to manufacture more, quicker, and cheaper DNA sequences has become critical for scientific inquiry.

Advances in microarray technology enabled scientists and researchers to investigate the human genome with increasing resolution in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Traditional approaches have limits that need the creation of new experimental procedures.

What is Whole Genome Sequencing?

The full DNA sequence of a human, animal, plant, bacterial, or viral genome may be identified through a technique called whole genome sequencing. The whole genetic code of a living being can be read by using whole genome sequencing. The output is a table containing the haploid set's nucleotide sequence in its raw form. When it comes to detecting uncommon genetic illnesses, whole genome sequencing is an invaluable tool. However, more study is required to comprehend the information's medicinal or biological significance.

The Human Genome Project, a worldwide collaboration begun in 1990, successfully decoded the human genome in 2003. (HGP). About 3 billion base pairs make up the human genome, which carries the whole set of coding "instructions" for the development and propagation of every living thing. Data storage and processing power are substantial requirements for whole genome sequencing.

What is Next Generation Sequencing?

There is no formal definition of next generation sequencing (NGS), although there are certain qualities that clearly separate NGS systems from traditional capillary-based sequencing. Next generation sequencing, also known as massively parallel sequencing, is a relatively recent technology that enables for the sequencing of a DNA molecule with a total length of more than one million base pairs in a single experiment.

NGS is a strong technology that has transformed the area of biological sciences by proving the ability to sequence DNA at new speeds and by providing a high throughput alternative that allows sequencing of numerous persons at the same time. This is accomplished by reducing the amount of individual sequencing reactions, hence reducing the size of the equipment and lowering the cost of reagents per reaction.

NGS is used in a wide range of applications, such as de novo genome sequencing, whole genome resequencing, transcriptome analysis, targeted resequencing, small RNA and miRNA sequencing, whole exome sequencing, and so on.

Differences: Whole Genome Sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing

The following table highlights the major differences between Whole Genome Sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing −


Whole Genome Sequencing

Next Generation Sequencing


Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is a thorough way of evaluating a cell's full genomic DNA sequence at once. Scientists can now read the exact sequence of all the letters that make up your whole set of DNA using this technique.

Next generation sequencing, also known as massively parallel sequencing, is a relatively recent technology that enables for the sequencing of a DNA molecule with a total length of more than one million base pairs in a single experiment.

Massive parallelization is used to create vast volumes of DNA sequence data.


Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is a laboratory approach that detects the order of nucleotides in the genome in a single step.

A blood or saliva sample is collected and delivered to the lab, where a machine breaks apart the DNA and interprets the letters like a code.

Researchers then compare your DNA sequence to a defined reference and discover the differences between the two sets of letters, which leads to the identification of a wide range of personal information.

NGS works on the same principles as classical capillary electrophoresis, with three main steps: DNA fragmentation, library sequencing, and data interpretation.


Whole genome sequencing is the process of sequencing the entire genome in order to examine mutations and rearrangements.

Whole genome sequencing allows you to construct genomes from scratch, compare an organism's genome to a reference genome, uncover novel genome assemblies, follow disease outbreaks, molecular evolution, diagnose suspected Mendelian disorders and cancer, and much more.

NGS technologies are utilised for whole genome sequencing, epigenetics, transcriptome analysis, de novo genome sequencing, large-scale DNA methylation study, discovery of non-coding RNAs and protein-binding sites, identification of biomarkers for early diagnosis, and other applications.


The Sanger sequencing technology, which remains the gold standard for sequencing, has drawbacks. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized the capacity to create enormous volumes of sequence data at an incredibly cheap cost, with the potential to sequence more than a million DNA fragments at a time.

Updated on: 26-Apr-2023


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