In this technical note, we describe the automation of the Illumina TruSeq DNA PCR-Free Sample Preparation Kit on the Beckman Coulter Biomek FXP Dual-Arm System, Multichannel Pipettor and Span-8 Pipettor automated liquid handler (Biomek FXP). The Illumina PCR-Free automated method is designed to work with the Illumina TruSeq DNA PCR-Free Sample Preparation Kit (FC-121-3001, FC-121-3002 or FC-121-3003), and allows the user to create up to 96 individually barcoded DNA libraries per method run—using either the LT or HT versions of the Illumina TruSeq DNA PCR-Free Kit. As the name of the kit implies, the libraries generated with this method do not undergo PCR amplification, which reduces nucleic acid composition bias and eliminates the risk of artifacts introduced via PCR. The method provides users with the option to utilize either off-deck incubations using an external thermocycler, or to perform incubations on-deck with a Biometra T-Robot thermocycler integrated to the Biomek FXP liquid handler.
The method employs individual Span-8 probes to deliver enzyme and reagent transfers while DNA cleanup, wash, and elution transfers are performed using the multichannel 96 pipetting head. A static Peltier unit ensures that enzyme master mixes are kept cool during the course of the method. The Illumina PCR-Free automated method can generate up to 96 Illumina TruSeq DNA PCR-Free libraries in approximately 5 hours. The method also incorporates all recommended stop points described in the Illumina TruSeq DNA PCRFree protocol to allow users the maximum amount of flexibility in planning their experiments.