The Microbiome Snapshot

a blog providing new insights into Microbiome Collection and Stabilization by DNA Genotek. DNA Genotek is a subsidiary of OraSure Technologies, Inc.

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Article by: Katherine Lawless

Leaving no microbe behind: Shoreline Biome’s easy solutions for microbiome NGS


DNA Genotek has collaborated and worked with many different organizations from testing companies to academic institutions and technology companies focused on biological sample processing tools. Each has unique expertise that allows for noteworthy collaborations and discoveries. On DNA Genotek’s Podcast Molecules, Microbes, and Multiomics, we talked about the amazing work of the team at Shoreline Biome. I had the pleasure of speaking with their Director of Research & Development, Dawn Gratalo.

Listen to the full podcast embedded below and subscribe to Molecules, Microbes, and Multiomics on your favourite listening platform to stay up to date on the new episodes.


Story of Shoreline Biome

Shoreline Biome is a microbiome focused company that provides simple solutions for microbiome next generation sequencing. They develop tools and reagents to support end-to-end microbiome analysis.

“There's many steps between sample and sequencing, and we wanted to simplify that workflow and reduce the hands-on time. We are really the only complete kit on the market. So that means that instead of a customer having to go to multiple vendors to buy DNA extraction kit or purification bead amplification kits, they can just come to us, get a complete kit with all these components that have already been optimized to work together. They don't need to waste time testing the compatibility of these different kits, they can just get to work processing and sequencing their samples and get to their data that much faster.” - Dawn Gratalo

Extraction is one of the most important steps.

In one of our previous Molecules, Microbes, and Multiomics episodes titled “How to ensure the best sequencing results from saliva and fecal samples” one of DNA Genotek’s R&D experts Dr. Brice LeFrançois explained how important the extraction method for fecal microbiome is. He explained how a poor extraction method can introduce bias in sample results. I brought up this idea again during my discussion with Dawn and she agreed that extraction (not only for fecal samples but all microbiome samples) is the most important step, for you cannot study what you cannot see.

“What happens with a lot of the extraction kits [on the market] is they require a bead beating step and that ends up destroying some of the DNA and completely changing the profile of your sample. That's why we created these two different lysis techniques to address some of these issues. We have our rapid lysis which is part of our complete kit and that uses a chemical lysis that's capable of lysing gram positive and gram-negative bacteria, for the metagenomic whole genome sequencing and for difficult to lyse pores. We also have our breaker instrument which uses mechanical lysis. Both of these [kits] have been optimized to be gentle and effective so that you are preserving the DNA while eliminating the bias that comes with some of these harsher methods.” - Dawn Gratalo

“Garbage in Garbage out” – sample quality can make or break your results.

Dawn also highlighted the importance of having high quality samples for your study.

“The sample is the first step in this entire process. So, it's absolutely important that you're starting with a high-quality sample. Without that, everything downstream is questionable in our samples. Our kits are developed to handle some challenging samples, but by having a well-established and consistent sample collection and storage procedure, you can feel confident that the results that you're seeing are real and not just an artifact of something that went awry in your sample storage.” - Dawn Gratalo

Working with companies like Shoreline Biome, who are focused on quality of both sample extraction and sample processing, is important to DNA Genotek. We have worked with Shoreline Biome to test the compatibility of our OMNIgene products (fecal, oral, and skin) with their simple and complete microbiome assay kits.

If you are interested in learning more about what Shoreline Biome has to offer, you can visit their site If you’d like to test one of our OMNIgene microbiome collection kits for your lab you can click on the image below to request some free samples to try. If you have any questions you can reach us at 

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Related Blogs:

Sequencing the microbiome: Are you getting the full story?

Fecal sample extraction tips to ensure the best sequencing results

Why is an optimal DNA extraction important for microbial profiling?

Choosing the best DNA extraction method in human gut microbiome community profiling

Is there a new gold-standard for gut microbiome stool collection?


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