Scientists at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) have developed a new sequencing method that enables the detection of a higher number of genes per cell compared to existing methods.
The new single-cell RNA-sequencing protocol was developed at IOB, with scientists from the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. It can be used to study any disease model requiring the analysis of rare cell populations at high resolution. The team developed a modular FLASH-seq protocol which they say can generate sequencing-ready libraries in just half a day. The team believes that this new protocol could become the tool of choice when looking for an efficient, robust, modular, affordable and automation-friendly full-length scRNA-seq protocol.
Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) shows which genes are turned on in a cell and what their level of transcription is. This allows in-depth assessment of the biology of individual cells, and detection of changes that may indicate disease. The method is becoming widely used across biology, neurology, oncology, immunology, cardiovascular research and infectious diseases. It’s also a critical tool in studying population heterogeneity, identifying minority sub-populations of interest, and for discovering unique characteristics of individual cells.
The new method can generate sequencing-ready libraries in just half a day.
Researchers at IOB therefore believe that FLASH-seq has the potential to become the tool of choice when looking for an efficient, robust, modular, affordable and automation-friendly full-length scRNA-seq protocol.
Simone Picelli, Head of the IOB Single-Cell Genomics Platform and senior author of the paper, explains: “Our modular provides a snapshot of the cell transcriptome at an unprecedented resolution. The method can be miniaturised, automated and adapted to different needs. It helps to define which gene isoforms are present in health and disease. It also provides a much deeper picture of the gene expression, especially after perturbation due to disease, developmental defects or external agents. Moreover, it is easy to set up in the lab, 50% faster and cheaper than similar existing protocols and enables the study of molecular mechanisms of disease beyond the scope of current single-cell sequencing tools.”
The research has been published in Nature Biotechnology1