12th August 2016 - bioRxiv
Ribonucleic acid sequencing can allow us to monitor the RNAs present in a sample. This enables us to detect the presence and nucleotide sequence of viruses, or to build a picture of how active transcriptional processes are changing -- information that is useful for understanding the status and function of a sample. Nanopore-based sequencing technology is capable of electronically analysing a sample's DNA directly, and in real-time. In this manuscript we demonstrate the ability of an array of nanopores to sequence RNA directly, and we apply it to a range of biological situations. Nanopore technology is the only available sequencing technology which can sequence RNA directly, rather than depending on reverse transcription and PCR. There are several potential advantages of this approach over other RNA-seq strategies, including the absence of amplification and reverse transcription biases, the ability to detect nucleotide analogues and the ability to generate full-length, strand-specific RNA sequences. This will improve the ease and speed of RNA analysis, while yielding richer biological information.