Evaluation of protocols for rRNA depletion-based RNA sequencing of nanogram inputs of mammalian total RNA

PLoS One. 2019 Oct 31;14(10):e0224578. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224578. eCollection 2019.


Next generation RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) is a flexible approach that can be applied to a range of applications including global quantification of transcript expression, the characterization of RNA structure such as splicing patterns and profiling of expressed mutations. Many RNA-seq protocols require up to microgram levels of total RNA input amounts to generate high quality data, and thus remain impractical for the limited starting material amounts typically obtained from rare cell populations, such as those from early developmental stages or from laser micro-dissected clinical samples. Here, we present an assessment of the contemporary ribosomal RNA depletion-based protocols, and identify those that are suitable for inputs as low as 1-10 ng of intact total RNA and 100-500 ng of partially degraded RNA from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA / methods*
  • Tissue Fixation / methods
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • RNA