Ion Torrent


The ACRF BRF in collaboration with the CSIRO houses a next generation post light sequencer called the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine, the world's first semiconductor-based DNA sequencing technology.  The system is based on the detection of hydrogen ions that are released as nucleotides and added during the synthesis of nucleic acid chains that are complementary to a template strand.

The Ion Torrent differs from other sequencing technologies in that no modified nucleotides or optics are used.  Instead a solid state pH meter directly translates chemical data into digital data by means of proprietary semiconductor technology.

The Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) sequencer can do runs in about 2 hours, offers semiconductor scalability and is considerably cheaper than other sequencers to run.

The chip is the machine.


The Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine utilizes a disposable chip which is considered to be “the machine."  In keeping with the rapid evolution of chip technology, it is expected that the read length and base yield will also continue to increase every six months.  This will allow the BRF to provide customers with a continuously evolving tool to help researchers perform their work more effectively through greater application and significantly reduced costs compared to other sequencing platforms.

This technology is ideally suited for small scale applications such as microbial genome sequencing, amplicon sequencing, targeted sequencing, microbial transcriptome sequencing and for quality testing of sequencing libraries.  As semiconductor sequencing continues to rapidly evolve, so applications will continue to expand.  Watch this space!

Acknowledgement:  this above information is drawn from Life Technologies.


Ion Torrent Applications
  Genome sequencing
  Targeted DNA sequencing
  Targeted RNA Sequencing
  Exome Sequencing
  Transcriptome Sequencing
  Small RNA & miRNA Sequencing
  Microbial Sequencing
  Viral Typing
  Bacterial Typing
  Aneuploidy & CNV Analysis
  de novo sequencing




Please contact the BRF to enquire about price.

Phone: (612) 54326

Order form

An Ion Torrent order form can be downloaded.

Ion Torrent sequencing order form (DOCX 152KB)

Terms & conditions


  1. The BRF operates on a cost recovery basis.  The percentage of subsidization is determined by The John Curtin School of Medical Research.

  2. No samples or orders will be processed without an authorised* sample submission/order form and valid charge code.

 (*Authorised by signature of the PI/Lab Head, or by granting of electronic access to BRF ordering systems with the authority of the PI/Lab Head).
  3. It is a condition of the contract between the ACRF and JCSMR/ANU that "the Foundation (ACRF) is to be acknowledged in all scientific publications which utilise the Facility (BRF) at the Institute (JCSMR)". 
All work performed in the BRF, whether full service or not, and the use of any BRF resources should be acknowledged in all publications arising from that work. This should be in the “Material and Methods” section of the paper (see examples in the column to the right). Any further individual acknowledgements are solely at your discretion.

A reference to the publication should be sent to the Manager of the BRF once the paper is published (includes theses).

BRF collaborations and co-authorship:  although the BRF is primarily a service unit, there are instances where BRF staff make significant contributions to either the technical or intellectual input of the project. This should be discussed with the staff member concerned prior to commencement of the collaboration. 

Consumables and data


The customer agrees to cover the cost of any consumables ordered on their behalf if the customer fails to supply the correct quantity and quality of the starting material required for processing.  Details of the quality and quantity required are on the BRF website and sample submission form. 

  2. Customers are responsible for archiving data generated by the BRF. Data generated by the BRF are solely for the use of the customer and their collaborators.  Data is not to be sold to a third party. 

 The BRF shall not be responsible for data output generated from samples that deviate from recommended protocols as requested by the customer.

  3. Upon receipt of consumables and/or data, the customer accepts responsibility for the correct handling, use, storage and disposal of the consumables/data.
  4. The BRF extends no warranties of any kind in respect to the consumables.

  Any consumables sold may have hazardous properties.  The customer agrees to use appropriate caution and safeguards as not all properties are known. 

  5. Consumables sold by the BRF shall not be transferred to another party without the written consent of the BRF.  The BRF is not responsible for any losses arising from the use of consumables.  

The BRF will not be liable to the customer for any loss, claim or demand made by the customer due to acceptance, handling, use, storage or disposal of consumables and/or data by the customer, except to the extent permitted by law when it is the result of wilful misconduct on the part of the BRF or its employees.

Acknowledgement in publications


Real-time PCR

“Amplifications were performed in 384-well optical reaction plates (Applied Biosystems) with a 7900HT Fast Real-Time PCR System at the ACRF Biomolecular Resource Facility, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, using SDS 2.4 software to analyse raw data.”

DNA Sanger Sequencing

“Amplified PCR products were purified and sequenced on an AB 3730xl DNA Analyzer (at the ACRF Biomolecular Resource Facility, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University) following the manufacturer's protocol (Applied Biosystems 2002).”

Peptide synthesis

“Peptides were synthesized chemically using the 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl (Fmoc) method on a CEM Microwave-assisted Peptide Synthesizer and purified by one round of C18 reversed-phase HPLC by the ACRF Biomolecular Resource Facility at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University. As required, the N- or C-terminus, or both, were protected by acetylation or amidation, respectively.” 

Tetramer synthesis

“Cells were surface stained with APC-labelled tetramers consisting of murine class I MHC molecule (H-2Db), b2-microglobulin and influenza nucleoprotein peptide NP366–374. Tetramers were synthesised at the ACRF Biomolecular Resource Facility at The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, using BirA enzyme synthesized as described (O’Callaghan et al., 1999). [O’Callaghan, C.A., Byford, M.F., Wyer, J.R., Willcox, B.E., Jakobsen, B.K., McMichael, A.J. and Bell, J.I (1999). BirA Enzyme: Production and Application in the study of membrane receptor-ligand interactions by site-specific biotinylation. Anal. Biochem. 266, 9-15.]”

Updated:  22 June 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, ACRF/Page Contact:  Web Admin, ACRF