Efficient and robust RNA-seq process for cultured bacteria and complex community transcriptomes

Genome Biol. 2012;13(3):R23. doi: 10.1186/gb-2012-13-3-r23.


We have developed a process for transcriptome analysis of bacterial communities that accommodates both intact and fragmented starting RNA and combines efficient rRNA removal with strand-specific RNA-seq. We applied this approach to an RNA mixture derived from three diverse cultured bacterial species and to RNA isolated from clinical stool samples. The resulting expression profiles were highly reproducible, enriched up to 40-fold for non-rRNA transcripts, and correlated well with profiles representing undepleted total RNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Fractionation
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • DNA, Complementary / biosynthesis
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Microbial Consortia / genetics*
  • Prochlorococcus / genetics*
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Messenger