Transcriptome assays are increasingly being performed by high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). For organisms whose genomes have not been sequenced and annotated, transcriptomes must be assembled de novo from the RNA-seq data. Here, we present novel algorithms, specific to bacterial gene structures and transcriptomes, for analysis of bacterial RNA-seq data and de novo transcriptome assembly. The algorithms are implemented in an open source software system called Rockhopper 2. We find that Rockhopper 2 outperforms other de novo transcriptome assemblers and offers accurate and efficient analysis of bacterial RNA-seq data. Rockhopper 2 is available at http://cs.wellesley.edu/~btjaden/Rockhopper .