Oxford Nanopore PromethION 24/48

PromethION 24/48 is a sequencer released by Oxford Nanopore Technologies in January 2019. It is based on Nanopore Sequencing.

Oxford Nanopore PromethION 24/48
Image of PromethION: https://store.nanoporetech.com/us/promethion.html by Oxford Nanopore

PromethION 24/48 is available in the following models:
  • PromethION with kit 10/11 chemistry
  • PromethION with kit 12 chemistry


Manufacturer Oxford Nanopore Technologies
Technology Nanopore Sequencing
Release date January 2019
Price [2] $449,500
MSRP of PromethION 24 as of March 2024. PromethION 48 is $675,000 as of March 2024.
Type Benchtop
Weight 25 Kg
Supports real-time analysis Yes
Demultiplexing support Yes
File format FAST5
Read length Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 10/11 chemistry: typically 6-20 Kbp
Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 12 chemistry: typically 6-20 Kbp
Run time Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 10/11 chemistry: Up to 72 hours
Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 12 chemistry: Up to 72 hours
Reagent cost per Gb [1] Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 10/11 chemistry: Unavailable
Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 12 chemistry: Unavailable
Data quality [3] Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 10/11 chemistry:
Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 12 chemistry:
Maximum output per run (Gb)[4] Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 10/11 chemistry: 13300.00
Oxford Nanopore PromethION with kit 12 chemistry: 13300.00
Primary error type [5] Indels
Notes about the specifications

  1. Cost per Gb: The cost per Gb is calculated by dividing the costs of sequencing reagents by the manufacturer’s maximum output per run. For these runs, the manufacturer may have included their own controls and used specific library preparation kits. Actual performance may vary based on sample and library type and quality, loading concentration, and other experimental factors. The sequencing reagent costs used for calculations do not include any other costs associated with preparing the samples or running the instrument, including reagents used for extraction, quality control or library preparation, labor, electricity, lab consumables, storage, etc. Performance metrics and prices are subject to change.
  2. Price: The final price may be different depending on the supplier, the region and any discounts provided through bulk orders or negotiation. Other factors that may influence the final price are warranty options, maintenance contracts, possible trade-ins of older instruments, and any financing arrangements chosen.
  3. Data quality: This is the maximum data quality that the instrument can offer based on manufacturer’s specifications and optimizations. The quality of a specific run will depend on multiple factors, including sample quality, sample quantity, library prep protocol, run conditions, etc.
  4. Maximum output: This is the maximum output of a full instrument run. This number is based on manufacturer’s specifications and optimizations.
  5. Primary error type: This is the most common type of error that may occur due to sequencing. Other types of error may occur as well.

More about the PromethION 24/48

The PromethION 24 (P24) and PromethION 48 (P48) are high-throughput nanopore sequencing platforms from Oxford Nanopore Technologies released in 2019 and designed for large-scale, long-read DNA and RNA sequencing projects. They succeed the GridION and MinION, offering increased capacity and on-board computational power.

Key Innovations

The core innovation of the PromethION 24/48 lies in its ability to run multiple flow cells simultaneously. This significantly increases the throughput of the system compared to the single-flow cell MinION and the five-flow cell GridION. The P24 can accommodate 24 flow cells, allowing researchers to sequence a larger number of samples or generate more data per run. The P48 doubles that capacity to 48 flow cells, making it ideal for core facilities or researchers with very high-volume sequencing needs.

Another key innovation is the integration of high-performance computing within the PromethION itself due to four NVIDIA A-Series GPUs. This eliminates the need for dedicated external servers, which can be expensive to purchase and maintain. These GPUs handle basecalling and data processing in real-time, which minimizes data transfer bottlenecks and significantly reduces turnaround times. Real-time processing also allows researchers to monitor their sequencing run and make adjustments as needed.

Features and Technologies

The PromethION 24/48 utilizes nanopore sequencing technology. Here, DNA or RNA strands are passed through protein pores, and the electrical disruptions caused by each molecule are measured. These disruptions are then translated into sequences in real-time. More features are below.

  • Scalability: The aforementioned ability to run 1-48 independent flow cells simultaneously is a major advancement.
  • On-board computing: Real-time basecalling and data processing reduces turnaround times and streamlines workflows.
  • Data quality: PromethION offers long to ultra-long read lengths (exceeding 4 million bases) and high accuracy (>50 kb read N50).
  • Multiplexing: Up to 96 samples can be sequenced in a single run using PCR or PCR-free barcoding.
  • Direct RNA sequencing: Enables analysis of full-length transcripts for isoform discovery and quantification.
  • Minimal upfront IT infrastructure: The system is designed for standalone operation, minimizing setup complexity.

Intended Uses and Specific Applications

The PromethION 24/48 is well-suited for a range of research applications that leverage its high-throughput long-read capabilities. Here are some specific examples:

  • De novo genome assembly: PromethION's ability to generate ultra-long reads is useful for assembling complete genomes of complex organisms, including plants, animals, and microbes. A suitable kit is the Ultra-long DNA Sequencing kit from Nanopore.
  • Variant discovery: Long reads enable researchers to detect complex genetic variations, including insertions, deletions, inversions, and structural rearrangements. This is valuable for studies in cancer genomics, human genetics, and disease association. The Nanopore Ligation Sequencing kit can be used here.
  • Transcriptome analysis: Direct RNA sequencing on PromethION allows characterization of full-length transcripts, including alternative splicing isoforms, which is essential for understanding gene regulation and function. An example of a suitable kit is the Direct RNA Sequencing kit from Nanopore.
  • Metagenomics: Long reads are advantageous for studying the composition and diversity of microbial communities from various environments, such as the human gut microbiome or soil microbial communities. The 16S Barcoding kit or Ligation Sequencing kit from Nanopore can be used here.
  • Epigenetics: Nanopore sequencing can be used to study DNA methylation patterns and other epigenetic modifications across the genome. The Ligation Sequencing kit from Nanopore is an example of a suitable kit.

Comparison with Competing Instruments

  • PacBio Revio: Although the Revio also provides long reads with higher accuracy and a shorter max run time, it doesn’t offer the ultra-long reads of the PromethION 24/48 (longest over 4 Mbp), has lower max output than the PromethION 24/48 and is also more expensive upfront.
  • Oxford Nanopore PromethION 2: While the PromethION 2 is less expensive upfront and can offer similar read lengths, accuracy, and run times, it can only run 2 PromethION flow cells simultaneously, so the max output is much lower than the PromethION 24/48, which can run 24 or 48 flow cells.

Special Considerations

Here are some factors to consider when choosing between PromethION 24/48 and alternative platforms:

  • Output needs: If your research requires large-scale sequencing projects, the PromethION's high flow cell capacity is a significant advantage.
  • Read length requirements: PromethION excels at generating ultra-long reads, useful for applications like de novo genome assembly and complex structural variant detection.
  • Budget: PromethION has a higher upfront instrument cost than some alternatives, but ongoing reagent costs can be lower due to its efficiency.

Need sequencing done on a Oxford Nanopore PromethION 24/48 or a specific instrument? Tell us about your project here, and we'll connect you with a qualified provider.

This information on this page is up-to-date as of May 2, 2024 and based on the spec sheets published by the manufacturer.