Advances in transcriptomics have provided an exceptional opportunity to study functional implications of the genetic variability. Technologies such as RNA-Seq have emerged as state-of-the-art techniques for transcriptome analysis that take advantage of high-throughput next-generation sequencing. However, similar to their predecessors, these approaches continue to impose major challenges on full-length transcript structure identification, primarily due to inherent limitations of read length. With the development of single-molecule sequencing (SMS) from PacBio, a growing number of studies on the transcriptome of different organisms have been reported. SMS has emerged as advantageous for comprehensive genome annotation including identification of novel genes/isoforms, long non-coding RNAs and fusion transcripts. This approach can be used across a broad spectrum of species to better interpret the coding information of the genome, and facilitate the biological function study. We provide an overview of SMS platform and its diverse applications in various biological studies, and our perspective on the challenges associated with the transcriptome studies.
Journal: Frontiers in genetics