<< Back to glossary index


A sequencing method that involves the incorporation of chain-terminating nucleotides, nucleotides that stop the sequencing reaction, into a DNA strand complementary to a single-stranded DNA template. The chain-terminating nucleotides are labelled (radioactive or fluorescent labelled) and the sequencing machine can ‘read’ the label to determine the DNA sequence.

Use in clinical context

Sanger sequencing was a revolution in sequencing technologies when it was introduced in 1977. Compared to other methods it was very accurate and easy to use, and it was used in the Human Genome Project to sequence the first human genome.

Although next generation methods are cheaper, quicker, and have a higher throughput, Sanger sequencing is still used in some situations to verify results.

Last updated on 30th May, 2019