Genome sequencing is also known as whole genome sequencing (WGS), full genome sequencing, or complete genome sequencing. Using this approach, the entirety of the genomic information is sequenced. Thus, the complete genome of a sample is analyzed at a single time. This means that in addition to the chromosomal DNA, the mitochondrial and, if available, the chloroplast’s DNA is sequenced. Whole genome sequencing is, thus, available for a variety of different organisms, including microorganisms, viruses, plants, and mammals, such as humans or mice.
With the development of high-throughput sequencing, formerly known as next-generation sequencing, the costs for whole genome sequencing dropped drastically, making research with whole genome sequencing possible and affordable. Whole genome sequencing has a variety of application areas. It can, for example, be used, to determine the mutation frequency in the complete human genome. Mutations occur naturally, e.g., due to replication errors during cell divisions, or DNA damaging and subsequent error-prone or insufficient repair mechanisms.