DNA Core Center

The DNA Core Center

The mission of the Delaware Nucleotide Analysis (DNA) Core Center is to assist researchers in initiating and conducting genomics studies by offering DNA sequencing, workshops, seminars, and other related services.

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The Delaware Nucleotide Analysis Core Center

The DNA Core Center is a genomics facility that debuted at Delaware State University in 2019. The DNA Core Center offers services to researchers and stakeholders focusing on biology, medicine, environment, agriculture, animal science, and computer science.

Services include next generation sequencing (NGS) with an Illumina and third generation PacBio Sequel IIe system. The Core has the cutting-edge instruments necessary for the entire sequencing pipeline including nucleic acid sampling, sequencing library preparation, DNA sorting, quality control, and validation. Members of the DSU community, external academic institutions, stake holders, and the private sector can leverage the Core instruments and services to complete their research goals.

In addition to research, the Core offers teaching and outreach services. For staff and faculty of DSU and other institutions, workshops and seminars will be offered in the fall or spring academic semesters. A broad spectrum of training benefiting students and faculty is available. Through these teaching and outreach services, new Core users will become more familiar with instrument principles and operations.


The DSU DNA Core Center provides comprehensive services, from upstream DNA/RNA sampling to downstream high-throughput DNA sequencing and bio-informatics.

Our main goals are to:

  • Support DSU faculty, student, and staff in genomic research and training/education.
  • Support external institutions, stakeholders, and communities with NGS service, outreach, and education.
  • Become a leading hub in genomic research and service for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.


The vision of the DSU DNA Core Center is to be an open-house, welcoming those from private and public sectors, communities, academic institutions, and other HBCUs and minority serving institutions to use our Core facility for research, teaching, and outreach.


Next-generation sequencing systems and related core equipment frequently exceed research capacity and management of many laboratories. Additionally, establishing NGS workflow in individual labs can be difficult due to complicated NGS pipeline preparations and system operation. To meet the sequencing demands of the growing omics research community, we established the DNA Core Center at DSU in Dover, DE. Housed within the DNA Core are a variety of cutting edge instruments with a broad range of genomic applications. Experienced research staff are available to assist new users in sample processing, equipment operation, and data analysis.

The core offers two types of services:

  • Custom service: Experienced users can tailor-make their sequencing pipeline.
  • New user service: New users will receive consultations to guide their sequencing pipeline based on their research goals.


DNA Core Center researcher


Equipment & Services


Automated Nucleic Acid Sampling

King Fisher Duo Prime

The King Fisher Duo Prime system isolates DNA, RNA, and proteins from a variety of starting materials including cell-free body fluids, blood, bacteria, cell cultures, tissue and plant samples. The automated magnetic bead technology allows excellent recovery of samples with great reproducibility and efficiency.

QiaCube Connect MDx

The QIAcube Connect MDx is suitable for academic as well as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and biomedical research. The system offers over 150 standard protocols, including several IVD protocols to perform automated DNA, RNA, and protein sample processing for a large range of research and clinical sample types. This can be seamlessly integrated with down-stream assays including NGS, genotyping, gene expression analysis, and microbiome research.

Nucleic Acid Quantification and Quality Control

Invitrogen Qubit

Qubit fluorometers detect fluorescent dyes that are specific to the sample type (DNA, RNA, and protein). The Qubit assay selectively detects DNA, RNA, and protein using UV absorbance. The assay requires only a small amount (1 μL) of sample and detects as little as 10 pg/μL of DNA. Qubit nucleic acid quantification is considered the gold standard for downstream applications such as NGS.

Agilent Bioanalyzer

High-quality starting material is crucial for efficient NGS analysis. The Agilent 2100 Bio-analyzer system effectively determines RNA and DNA sample quality. It is suitable for sample NGS quality control (size distribution analyses and QC of amplified DNA libraries), PCR validation and impurity check, restriction digestion analysis, and genotyping analysis.

NGS Library Construction


The BluePippin has the DNA size selection capabilities of the Pippin Prep, plus the extra benefit of pulsed-field electrophoresis for resolving and collecting high molecular weight DNA.  For long-range genomic applications, high-pass filtering allows users to collect all fragments above a size thresh-old set by the user. The cassettes for DNA selections are available in four concentrations to provide a full range of size selection options between 100 bp and 50 kb.

Covaris Focused-ultrasonicator

The generation of DNA fragments in epigenomics study is a critical sample preparation step required by all NGS library constructions. Covaris adaptive focused acoustics (AFA) transmits acoustic energy isothermally to ensure both unbiased fragmentation and high recovery of double-stranded DNA. The M220 focused-ultrasonicator generates fragment lengths from 150 bp to 1.5 kb in a micro-TUBE, and to 2, 3, and 5 kb in a miniTUBE. This technology performs standardized frag-mentation regardless of GC/AT percentage.

Eppendorf epMotion

The epMotion is an automated liquid handler system specifically for genomics applications. The system uses a powerful Magnum FLX magnet for bead-based purification in plates with minimal elution volumes. With high pipetting accuracy and precision, the epMotion 5075tc increases productivity and provides rapid and reproducible results.

High-Throughput Sequencing

Illumina MiSeq

The MiSeq System facilitates research with a wide range of sequencing applications. It is capable of automated paired-end reads up to 600 bp and produces up to 15 Gb per run. With the longest read length of any Illumina platform, it can produce up to 25 million sequencing reads. The library prep kits it uses are optimized for a variety of applications, including targeted gene sequencing, small genome sequencing, metagenomics, and plasmid sequencing.

PacBio Sequel IIe

The Sequel IIe system is a third-generation sequencer that performs highly accurate “HiFi” long-read sequencing. For de novo genome HiFi sequencing on the Sequel IIe, each SMRTcell can generate up to 35Gb HiFi data with a 15-20kb insert size. Using SMRT sequencing technology, its applications include iso-seq, epigenetics, whole genome sequencing (humans, plants, animals, and microbes), targeted sequencing, and complex population sequencing.


*Consult with the DNA Core staff

HPC Cluster

The BioSoft Integrators High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster is a turnkey, high-performance computing solution designed specifically to meet the computing needs of next generation sequencing/bioinformatics applications. The HPC Cluster is equipped with pre-configured genetic analysis packages optimized for maximum performance. The HPC is compatible with Illumina and PacBio data, as well as other purposes of machine learning and AI.


Encrypted data flow from Illumina into the BaseSpace Sequence Hub enables straightforward data management and analysis using a curated set of analysis apps powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.

SMRT Analysis

PacBio smart molecule, real-time (SMRT) analysis offers unparalleled computational power for all scientists analyzing PacBio SMRT sequencing data. The SMRT analysis offers an easy-to-use graphical user interface, flexible command-line options, and an extensive set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for streamlined integration with analytical workflows.

Custom Bioinformatics

We are also available to develop custom pipelines for Illumina and PacBio NGS analysis.

Other Core Equipment & Services

Bio-Rad Next Generation Chromatography (NGC) System

The NGC Quest Plus system provides accurate gradients for high-resolution separations for any biological molecules. The system is equipped with a multi-wavelength detector with simultaneous four-wavelength monitoring (between 190 and 800 nm) for high-accuracy detection of proteins and peptides combined with conductivity measurements. Fractionated samples can be easily collected from analytical- to preparative-scale purifications using the fraction collector.

Applied Biosystems StepOne Plus Real-time PCR System

The StepOne Plus Real-time PCR System is a thermal cycler that uses robust LED based multiplex-color (FAM/SYBR Green, VIC/JOE, NED/TAMRA, and ROX) optical recording to deliver precise, quantitative real-time amplification results for a variety of genomic research applications including SNP genotyping, gene expression analysis, microRNA expression, protein expression, translocation analysis, gene detection, and viral load analysis.

We also offer a variety of non-NGS based services including:

  • Recombinant protein production in yeast and E. coli. expression system
  • Protein/enzyme purification
  • Sub-cloning
  • Bacterial identification
  • Biochemical analysis



Education & Extension

Genomics Seminars

The DNA Core Center offers genomic seminars for professional development for academic and community members. Previous lectures have been presented by PacBio and Illumina representatives.


The DNA Core Center offers virtual and in person workshops for professional development for members of the community and the DSU family. Principles behind scientific processes as well as instrument demonstration are included.

Summer Biotechnology Camp

The Summer Food Biotechnology Camp is an exciting STEM program available at DSU every summer. It offers junior high and high school students the opportunity to gain hands-on, college-level research experience. Students learn about topics including microbiology, human health, food, and agriculture through experiential microbial and molecular biological experiments.