Clontech Laboratories, Inc. Releases the SMARTer® Stranded RNA-Seq Kit

RNA-SeqMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Clontech Laboratories, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takara Bio Inc., today announced the launch of the SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit for strand-specific RNA-Seq from low-input RNA samples. This kit integrates Illumina® library preparation with SMART™ cDNA amplification to create indexed libraries in less than four hours and provides high-quality stranded data, with greater than 99% accuracy in strand identification.

Carol Lou, General Manager of Clontech Laboratories, Inc., observed that “Clontech has already pushed the limits of RNA-Seq down to extremely low inputs—for example, with our SMARTer Ultra Low RNA Kit for Illumina Sequencing. Now, we are expanding the applications of SMART technology to include cDNA synthesis that retains strand origination data. This strand information is critical for analyzing antisense transcripts, noncoding RNAs, and closely spaced and overlapping genes, particularly in eukaryotic organisms with incompletely-annotated or un-annotated transcriptomes and in prokaryotic organisms, which have very compact genomes.”

“The SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit provides close to 100% strand specificity while maintaining low input sensitivity, and also offers a much faster and simpler protocol than other RNA-Seq kits. RNA-Seq experiments are now being done routinely, and by reducing protocol time to less than 4 hours and increasing strand specificity to over 99%, we are enabling scientists to do more experiments” noted Andrew Farmer, Vice President of Research and Development at Clontech Laboratories, Inc.

The SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit combines Clontech’s patented SMART (Switching Mechanism at 5′ End of RNA Template) technology for full-length cDNA synthesis with direct addition of a PCR adaptor, and creates indexed libraries for Illumina® NGS platforms in under 4 hours. Although other stranded RNA-Seq kits are available, Clontech’s SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit has significant advantages, including greater than 99% accuracy in strand identification even with very low inputs of sample (100 pg–10 ng input RNA), and a simple protocol that can be completed in half a day. By comparison, other commercially-available methods require one to two full days of effort to prepare libraries for RNA-Seq.

The SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit is ideal for most RNA-Seq applications, including antisense transcript and noncoding RNA identification, and for identifying the source of overlapping reads, such as reads from closely spaced or overlapping genes, from closely related genes, or from prokaryotic organisms. Clontech plans to continue expanding the use of SMART technology for NGS, particularly in areas where low sample input is a constraint or a requirement. For more information about SMARTer solutions for RNA-Seq, please visit

About Clontech Laboratories
Clontech Laboratories, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takara Bio Inc., develops, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of life science research reagents under the Clontech® and Takara® brands. Key products include SMARTer cDNA synthesis kits for a variety of samples and applications, including NGS; high-performance qPCR and PCR reagents (including the TaKaRa Ex Taq®, TaKaRa LA Taq®, Titanium®, and Advantage® enzymes); RT enzymes and SMART library construction kits; the innovative In-Fusion® cloning system; Tet-based inducible gene expression systems; Living Colors® fluorescent proteins and a range of Macherey-Nagel nucleic acid purification tools. These and other products support applications including NGS, gene discovery, regulation, and function; protein expression and purification; RNAi and stem cell studies; and plant and food research. For more information, visit

About Takara Bio Inc.
Takara Bio Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Shiga, Japan. As a world leader in biotechnology research and development, Takara Bio was the first company to market PCR technology in Japan and is also the developer of the RetroNectin® reagent, which is used as a world standard in gene therapy protocols. In addition to providing research reagents and equipment to the life science research market, Takara Bio has active research and product development activities in the fields of gene and cell-based therapy and agricultural biotechnology; and is committed to preventing disease and improving the quality of life for all people through the use of biotechnology. Through strategic alliances with other industry leaders, Takara Bio aims to extend its reach around the world. More information is available at

SOURCE Clontech Laboratories, Inc.