High-quality RNA extraction from crustaceans for next-gen sequencing

Despite the ecological importance of copepods, few Next Generation Sequencing studies (NGS) have been performed on small crustaceans, and a standard method for RNA extraction is lacking. In this study, researchers at the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, Italy compared three commonly-used methods: TRIzol®, Aurum Total RNA Mini Kit and Qiagen RNeasy Micro Kit, in combination with preservation reagents TRIzol® or RNAlater®, to obtain high-quality and quantity of RNA from copepods for NGS. Total RNA was extracted from the copepods Calanus helgolandicus, Centropages typicus and Temora stylifera and its quantity and quality were evaluated using NanoDrop, agarose gel electrophoresis and Agilent Bioanalyzer. The results demonstrate that preservation of copepods in RNAlater® and extraction with Qiagen RNeasy Micro Kit were the optimal isolation method for high-quality and quantity of RNA for NGS studies of C. helgolandicus. Intriguingly, C. helgolandicus 28S rRNA is formed by two subunits that separate after heat-denaturation and migrate along with 18S rRNA. This unique property of protostome RNA has never been reported in copepods. Overall, this comparative study on RNA extraction protocols will help increase gene expression studies on copepods using high-throughput applications, such as RNA-Seq and microarrays.

Asai S, Ianora A, Lauritano C, Lindeque PK, Carotenuto Y. (2014) High-quality RNA extraction from copepods for Next Generation Sequencing: A comparative study. Mar Genomics [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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