The  U.S. Department of Agriculture,  Animal Plant Health Inspection Services, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology  (USDA/APHIS/CPHST)  (Office of  Edinburg, TX ,  is conducting a market survey to determine the availability and technical capability of qualified commercial and nonprofit businesses capable of providing  DNA sequencing, gene synthesis, molecular biology and genomic services.  This will be a Blanket Purchase Agreement for a five year period. 

STATEMENT OF WORK

DNA sequencing is the process of deciphering the nucleotide (i.e., A, C, T, G) arrangement within a segment of a DNA molecule. This information can be used to identify pest/non-pest species either directly by comparing the DNA sequences (i.e., DNA barcoding) or indirectly by using the sequences to develop alternate DNA-based techniques of analysis. Deciphering the DNA sequence of various species and populations is crucial for the development of all molecular diagnostic tools.

The contractor shall provide DNA Sequencing/Fragment Analysis Testing Service for the USDA, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST). The Center for Plant Health Science and Technology supports PPQ regulatory decisions and operations through methods development work, scientific investigation, analyses and technology. The molecular diagnostics unit of the CPHST is specifically focused on the development of molecular diagnostic tests for arthropods including fruit flies and other invertebrate pests. The DNA is used to make quarantine and regulatory decisions that have associated economic costs. The DNA Sequencing Analysis Testing Service provided shall be performed in accordance with the above specifications and when requested by the Contracting Officer or the authorized representative of the Contracting Officer.

SPECIFICATIONS:

DNA sequencing is performed in two stages. First, a chemical reaction incorporates four different fluorescent dyes to DNA molecules such that each type of nucleotide is specifically labeled. Second, the labeled DNA molecules are separated using an instrument called a DNA Sequencer. The DNA Sequencer includes optical sensors and computer software that can decipher the different dye labels and reconstruct the DNA sequence. These instruments are relatively expensive and are designed to perform optimally using specific chemical dyes, software, and reagents.

The APHIS-CPHST Lab in Texas is involved in multiple molecular diagnostic programs that require DNA sequencing of samples. These samples are used to generate new molecular tools and to provide identifications to intercepted invertebrates. In both cases these DNA sequences will be used to make quarantine and regulatory decisions that have associated economic costs. Therefore, we require a DNA sequencing service that can provide DNA sequences with ≥99% accuracy for at least 800 DNA nucleotides and process requests of up to 500 samples at a time. Due to the time sensitivity of projects requiring this service, the turn-around time for all results to be delivered to USDA, APHIS, and CPHST should be less than two (2) business days from receipt of samples.   The failure rate due to combined human error and instrument error must be below 0.5%. The contractor must be able to receive samples sent via overnight shipment and be able to analyze samples sent at room temperature during transport.

•           Type of Sequencing required – Sanger sequencing Which is neither Deep Sequencing nor  Illumina platform

•           Read length and number of  reads required per sample is No more than 1500bp, 1X

•           Maximum length of the fragment analysis  should be no more than 350bp

•           No analysis required, just allele length

For this solicitation, if offerors do not provide or meet any of the specifications as stated above, it should be noted on the price schedule submitted.

DELIVERABLES

All results of testing are to be delivered and/or made available via Secure Web Based access. Request for services will be submitted as needed using Delivery orders issued under this contract by the Contracting Officer or Contracting Officers Representative (COR) on an as needed basis.  Orders may be issued orally, by facsimile, or by electronic commerce methods.

Shipping and Handling:  Unless specifically quoted, shipping and handling charges will be prepaid and added to the invoice (PPD & Add). Wet Ice, Hazardous and Dry Ice packaging fees are prepaid and added to all invoices as appropriate.

Interested sources are encouraged to complete and return Attachment 1  to the contracting office.  Telephonic inquiries will not be honored.  Please email all questions regarding subject item(s)  prior to Sources Sought closing date to Carol.Dingess@usda.gov.   This is not a request for competitive proposals, but instead a market research method to determine interested sources.  A determination by the Government not to compete this requirement based on responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government.  Information received will be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement.  No requests for capability briefings will be honored as a result of this notice.  Interested sources who submit data are responsible for appropriately marking information if it is proprietary in nature.  Please provide Duns Number,  and point of contact information.   The Government will not award a contract based on the information received, nor reimburse participants for information or samples  they provide.  Information  or materials provided is strictly voluntary. 

Please  Email (only)Attachment  1  to Carol Dingess at Carol.Dingess@usda.gov.  

Questions must be submitted in writing via email  by 04/16/2021

Please be sure to include notice # CPHST -SS-21-1025802  on subject line.    

Telephonic  and Fax inquiries will not be honored.  Closing date for submissions of  Statements of Capability is  April 16, 2021 at 4:00PM MT.

The associated North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code for this requirement  is 541380     Testing Laboratories.  The Small Business Size Category is $16.5 Mil. 

Anyone interested in doing business with the USDA must first obtain a Dunn and Bradstreet number.  If your company does not have a DUNS number, you may contact Dun and Bradstreet directly to obtain one by calling 1- 866-705-5711or via the following website:

http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform

Anyone  interested in doing business  with the USDA must also first  be listed in the government’s System for Award Management  known as  BETA SAM.    You may register on line with https://beta.sam.gov.   A prospective awardee shall be registered in the  BETA SAM database prior to award, during performance and through final payment of any contract resulting from this solicitation.  

Interested persons  may obtain information on registration and annual confirmation requirements via the Beta SAM database accessed through http://sam.gov  or by calling  1-866-606-8220

***REGISTRATION IS FREE***

The Government intends to provide all information regarding this notice  via this web site .   The Federal Government is not responsible for notifications to offerors regarding notices, solicitations  or  amendments.  It is the Vendor’s responsibility to check BETA SAM website  periodically for updates.    Telephone, Fax and email requests will not be accepted