A variety of single-cell RNA preparation procedures have been described. So far, protocols require fresh material, which hinders complex study designs. We describe a sample preservation method that maintains transcripts in viable single cells, allowing one to disconnect time and place of sampling from subsequent processing steps. We sequence single-cell transcriptomes from >1000 fresh and cryopreserved cells using 3'-end and full-length RNA preparation methods. Our results confirm that the conservation process did not alter transcriptional profiles. This substantially broadens the scope of applications in single-cell transcriptomics and could lead to a paradigm shift in future study designs.
Keywords: Conservation; Cryopreservation; MARS-Seq; PBMC; PDOX; Patient-derived orthotopic xenograft; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; RNA sequencing; Single-cell genomics; Smart-seq2; Transcriptomics.