Novel amplification based RNA-seq methodology generates highly reproducible sequencing libraries from as low as 25 picograms of mRNA

Researchers at the University of California at San Diego have developed a novel Designed Primer-based RNA-sequencing strategy (DP-seq) that uses a defined set of heptamer primers to amplify the majority of expressed transcripts from limiting amounts of mRNA, while preserving their relative abundance. This strategy reproducibly yielded high levels of amplification from as low as 50 picograms of mRNA while offering a dynamic range of over five orders of magnitude in RNA concentrations. They also demonstrated the potential of DP-seq to selectively suppress the amplification of the highly expressing ribosomal transcripts by more than 70% in their sequencing library. Using lineage segregation in embryonic stem cell cultures as a model of early mammalian embryogenesis, DP-seq revealed novel sets of low abundant transcripts, some corresponding to the identity of cellular progeny before they arise, reflecting the specification of cell fate prior to actual germ layer segregation.


  • Bhargava V, Ko P, Willems E, Mercola M, Subramaniam S. (2013) Quantitative Transcriptomics using Designed Primer-based Amplification. Sci Rep 3:1740. [article]
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