Understanding development and stem cells using single cell-based analyses of gene expression

Development. 2017 Jan 1;144(1):17-32. doi: 10.1242/dev.133058.


In recent years, genome-wide profiling approaches have begun to uncover the molecular programs that drive developmental processes. In particular, technical advances that enable genome-wide profiling of thousands of individual cells have provided the tantalizing prospect of cataloging cell type diversity and developmental dynamics in a quantitative and comprehensive manner. Here, we review how single-cell RNA sequencing has provided key insights into mammalian developmental and stem cell biology, emphasizing the analytical approaches that are specific to studying gene expression in single cells.

Keywords: Computational biology; Gene regulatory networks; Pseudotime; RNA-Seq; Single cell; Stem cells.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Embryonic Development / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Stem Cell Research*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*