RNA sequencing, also referred to as RNA-Seq is a next-generation sequencing process with focus on study of total RNA content of a organism or tissue. RNA sequencing is done to analyze the cellular transcriptome which is continuously changing in its natural process. Laboratories have RNA-Seq facilities where an RNA sample is studied for fusion, mutation, spliced transcripts, transcriptional modification and such. In addition to that, this process also opens up the possibilities of determining the exon-intron boundaries as well as verify or mitigate the gene boundaries.
RNA sequencing at this point is in its second and more popular sequencing technique used by clinicians and researchers. At this point, single cell sequencing and situ sequencing of a particular fixed tissue is also possible through RNA sequencing.
The Benefits of RNA-Seq
There are more than just a handful of benefits of RNA-Seq. To begin with, it is a high through-put process of sequencing total RNA content in a tissue. It has single base resolution and very low background noise. The reduced background noise is truly of great help in rending an unambiguous mapping. The procedure does not really have an lower or upper limit in terms of quantification. In that sense, RNA-seq has a relatively large dynamic range in the matter of expression levels. Gene expression in eukaryotes is now a standard protocol to study changes in gene regulation with change in environmental conditions and other inducing external factors.
To sum it up in the end, taking into account all its advantages, RNA-Seq is the first of its kind by which entire transcriptome can be surveyed in terms of number and variety of isoform transcripts . The two undeniable merits of the method is the level of digital gene expression and annotative single-base resolution. More recently, researchers are using metagenomics RNA analysis to understand the community functional regulation and dynamics.