RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) is a powerful tool with a multitude of applications, including whole-transcriptome profiling, the identification of novel transcripts, the detection of coding variants, the detection of fusion genes, and the identification of alternative splicing, among others.
Transcriptomic studies have the ability to provide a snapshot of gene expression and regulation within a particular tissue or cell type. For example, expression level studies have provided insight into the long-appreciated relationship between temperature and sex-determination in some reptiles, such as crocodiles and turtles. During embryo development, higher temperatures result in females hatching, lower temperatures result in males hatching, and intermediate temperatures result in a mix of both. Transcriptomic studies revealed that this determination is caused by changes in expression of the Sox9 gene. At lower temperatures, Sox9 has higher expressional levels whereas higher temperatures show repressed expression of Sox9. This expression impacts the amount of a transcription factor produced by Sox9, which then impacts a gene that plays a major role in sex determination.
In addition to helping us understand observed biological relationships, transcriptomics can reveal genes or expression levels that might be related to a specific disease or disease phenotype. For example, recent work revealed common gene expression patterns in brain tissue among people with certain psychiatric disorders. Other groups have found that specific aberrant genomic rearrangements (i.e., fusions) are often associated with a specific type of cancer.
Whether you are interested in differential gene expression or novel fusion discovery, the Swift Library Kits provide high-quality transcriptomics data and fast, robust workflows. Powered by Adaptase® technology, Swift RNA and