Contributed by Carol Huang
In mid-September, I attended Illumina user group meeting. The topic of single cell sequencing caught my attention for my recent experience on single cell RNA sequencing for a collaborator.
Next generation sequencing has provided high accuracy and in depth genetic information for a cell population, tissue and organs. Bulk cell RNA sequencing can identify a tissue, organism that drive a disease pathology and identify gene expression patterns at a macro level. While, there are numbers of cell types within a population of cells. Each cell type has a distinct lineage and function. The lineage and developmental stage of each cell determine how they respond to each other and to their environment. Most single-cell tissue sequencing were on cancer research. Single-cell sequencing also enables to identify cell types driving a particular pathology, understand composition of complex cell mixture and identify rare cell types.
In metagenomics studies, single-cell sequencing allows to identify low-abundant species that might missing in population sequencing. Single-cell sequencing can effectively characterize organisms hard to culture in vitro. Single-cell sequencing has improved detection and analysis of outbreaks, food-borne pathogens and microbial distribution in environment.
Current single-cell sequencing has time-consuming for cell isolation and cost-efficiency problem. BioRad has partnered with Illumina to solve this problem. Using BioRad Droplet Digital technology accommodate high-throughput single-cell isolation. Through ddSEQ Isolator single cells isolated and barcoded; coupled with Illumina’s reagent and Nextera library kit single cell libraries can be efficiently sequenced; after data can be analyzed and stored at BaseSpace. This system can isolate 10,000 cells per day and cost of all consumables, sequencer and software from Illuminar is $1 per cell. This solution will accelerate single-cell studies a great deal.