RNA-Seq Technology

RNA-Seq (RNA sequencing) technology allows you to discover and profile the transcriptome in any organism. Illumina's RNA-Seq technology records the numerical frequency of sequences in a library population, and offers a number of advantages compared to other technologies such as microarrays.

RNA-Seq and Microarray Technology Comparison

  • Unlike arrays, RNA-Seq technology does not require species- or transcript-specific probes. It enables unbiased detection of novel transcripts and other changes, such as single nucleotide variants, indels (small insertions and deletions), and gene fusions.
  • Microarray technology is effective for detecting expression of known genes and transcripts. However, it cannot detect novel transcripts or other previously unidentified changes.
  • With array hybridization technology, gene expression measurement is limited by background at the low end and signal saturation at the high end. RNA-Seq technology, on the other hand, quantifies discrete, digital sequencing read counts, offering a broader dynamic range.
  • Compared to microarrays, RNA-Seq technology offers increased specificity and sensitivity, for enhanced detection of genes, transcripts, and differential expression. Sequencing coverage depth can easily be increased to detect rare transcripts, single transcripts per cell, or weakly expressed genes.

For a more detailed comparison of microarray and RNA-Seq technologies, read our case study: Transitioning from arrays to RNA-Seq (PDF) »

Learn more about RNA-Seq »

Increasing Adoption of RNA-Seq Technology by Researchers

The portion of grant funding allocated to new RNA sequencing vs. gene expression array-inclusive grants has been trending towards RNA-Seq technology for the last several years, and now constitutes the majority.

Read blog post: Trends in Transcriptomics »


Tissue-specific expression detected with RNA-Seq

Detect Tissue-Specific Expression with mRNA-Seq

TruSeq RNA Sample Prep

TruSeq RNA Sample Prep Kits enable analysis of novel transcripts, alternative splice sites, rare transcripts, and more.

Specialty RNA-Seq Technologies

Explore solutions for sequencing: