Single-cell RNA-sequencing: The future of genome biology is now

RNA Biol. 2017 May 4;14(5):637-650. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2016.1201618. Epub 2016 Jul 21.


Genome-wide single-cell analysis represents the ultimate frontier of genomics research. In particular, single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) studies have been boosted in the last few years by an explosion of new technologies enabling the study of the transcriptomic landscape of thousands of single cells in complex multicellular organisms. More sensitive and automated methods are being continuously developed and promise to deliver better data quality and higher throughput with less hands-on time. The outstanding amount of knowledge that is going to be gained from present and future studies will have a profound impact in many aspects of our society, from the introduction of truly tailored cancer treatments, to a better understanding of antibiotic resistance and host-pathogen interactions; from the discovery of the mechanisms regulating stem cell differentiation to the characterization of the early event of human embryogenesis.

Keywords: CEL-seq; CytoSeq; Drop-seq; MARS-seq; Nanopore; RNA-sequencing; SMART-seq2; STRT/C1; Tn5 transposase; single-cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genome, Human
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Nanopores
  • RNA / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Transcriptome
  • Transposases / metabolism


  • Tn5 transposase
  • RNA
  • Transposases