Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization (DASH): using Cas9 to remove unwanted high-abundance species in sequencing libraries and molecular counting applications

Genome Biol. 2016 Mar 4;17:41. doi: 10.1186/s13059-016-0904-5.


Next-generation sequencing has generated a need for a broadly applicable method to remove unwanted high-abundance species prior to sequencing. We introduce DASH (Depletion of Abundant Sequences by Hybridization). Sequencing libraries are 'DASHed' with recombinant Cas9 protein complexed with a library of guide RNAs targeting unwanted species for cleavage, thus preventing them from consuming sequencing space. We demonstrate a more than 99 % reduction of mitochondrial rRNA in HeLa cells, and enrichment of pathogen sequences in patient samples. We also demonstrate an application of DASH in cancer. This simple method can be adapted for any sample type and increases sequencing yield without additional cost.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems / genetics
  • Communicable Diseases / genetics
  • HeLa Cells
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA Editing / genetics
  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*


  • RNA, Mitochondrial
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA