Differential RNA-Seq – the approach behind and the biological insight gained

RNA-sequencing has revolutionized the quantitative and qualitative analysis of transcriptomes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It provides a generic approach for gene expression profiling, annotation of transcript boundaries and operons, as well as identifying novel transcripts including small noncoding RNA molecules and antisense RNAs. Researchers from the University of Würzburg recently developed a differential RNA-seq (dRNA-seq) method which in addition to the above, yields information as to whether a given RNA is a primary or processed transcript. Originally applied to describe the primary transcriptome of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori, dRNA-seq has since provided global maps of transcriptional start sites in diverse species, informed new biology in the CRISPR-Cas9 system, advanced to a tool for comparative transcriptomics, and inspired simultaneous RNA-seq of pathogen and host.

Sharma CM, Vogel J. (2014) Differential RNA-seq: the approach behind and the biological insight gained. Curr Opin Microbiol 19C, 97-105 [abstract]