Publication date: Aug 01, 2023
Since the development of Sanger sequencing in 1977, sequencing technology has played a pivotal role in molecular biology research by enabling the interpretation of biological genetic codes. Today, nanopore sequencing is one of the leading third-generation sequencing technologies. With its long reads, portability, and low cost, nanopore sequencing is widely used in various scientific fields including epidemic prevention and control, disease diagnosis, and animal and plant breeding. Despite initial concerns about high error rates, continuous innovation in sequencing platforms and algorithm analysis technology has effectively addressed its accuracy. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, nanopore sequencing played a critical role in detecting the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 virus genome and containing the pandemic. However, a lack of understanding of this technology may limit its popularization and application. Nanopore sequencing is poised to become the mainstream choice for preventing and controlling COVID-19 and future epidemics while creating value in other fields such as oncology and botany. This work introduces the contributions of nanopore sequencing during the COVID-19 pandemic to promote public understanding and its use in emerging outbreaks worldwide. We discuss its application in microbial detection, cancer genomes, and plant genomes and summarize strategies to improve its accuracy.