The recent expansion of next-generation sequencing has significantly improved biological research. Nevertheless, deep exploration of genomes or metagenomic samples remains difficult because of the sequencing depth and the associated costs required. Therefore, different partitioning strategies have been developed to sequence informative subsets of studied genomes. Among these strategies, hybridization capture has proven to be an innovative and efficient tool for targeting and enriching specific biomarkers in complex DNA mixtures. It has been successfully applied in numerous areas of biology, such as exome resequencing for the identification of mutations underlying Mendelian or complex diseases and cancers, and its usefulness has been demonstrated in the agronomic field through the linking of genetic variants to agricultural phenotypic traits of interest. Moreover, hybridization capture has provided access to underexplored, but relevant fractions of genomes through its ability to enrich defined targets and their flanking regions. Finally, on the basis of restricted genomic information, this method has also allowed the expansion of knowledge of nonreference species and ancient genomes and provided a better understanding of metagenomic samples. In this review, we present the major advances and discoveries permitted by hybridization capture and highlight the potency of this approach in all areas of biology.
© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.