SequencingThe SOLiD sequencing technology from Applied Biosystems is different from other sequencing technologies since it does not sequence one base at a time. Instead, two bases are sequenced at a time in an overlapping pattern. There are 16 different dinucleotides, but in the SOLiD technology, the dinucleotides are grouped in four carefully chosen sets, each containing four dinucleotides. The colors are as follows:
Notice how a base and a color uniquely defines the following base. This approach can be used to deduce a whole sequence from the initial nucleotide and a series of colors. Here is a sequence and the corresponding colors.
The colors do not uniquely define the sequence. Here is another sequence with the same list of colors:
But if the first nucleotide is known, the colors do uniquely define the remaining sequence. This is exactly the strategy used in SOLiD sequencing: The first nucleotide is known from the primer used, and the remaining nucleotides are deduced from the colors.