Single-cell transcriptome sequencing: recent advances and remaining challenges

F1000Res. 2016 Feb 17;5:F1000 Faculty Rev-182. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.7223.1. eCollection 2016.


Single-cell RNA-sequencing methods are now robust and economically practical and are becoming a powerful tool for high-throughput, high-resolution transcriptomic analysis of cell states and dynamics. Single-cell approaches circumvent the averaging artifacts associated with traditional bulk population data, yielding new insights into the cellular diversity underlying superficially homogeneous populations. Thus far, single-cell RNA-sequencing has already shown great effectiveness in unraveling complex cell populations, reconstructing developmental trajectories, and modeling transcriptional dynamics. Ongoing technical improvements to single-cell RNA-sequencing throughput and sensitivity, the development of more sophisticated analytical frameworks for single-cell data, and an increasing array of complementary single-cell assays all promise to expand the usefulness and potential applications of single-cell transcriptomic profiling.

Keywords: Single-cell RNA-sequencing; single-cell transcriptomic profiling.

Publication types

  • Review