Error modes

As with other sequencing technologies, errors do occur with the SOLiD technology. If a single nucleotide is changed, two colors are affected since a single nucleotide is contained in two overlapping dinucleotides:

Image colorspace4

Sometimes, a wrong color is determined at a given position. Due to the dependence between dinucleotides and colors, this affects the remaining sequence from the point of the error:

Image colorspace5

Thus, when the instrument makes an error while determining a color, the error mode is very different from when a single nucleotide is changed. This ability to differentiate different types of errors and differences is a very powerful aspect of SOLiD sequencing. With other technologies sequencing errors always appear as nucleotide differences.