DOI: 10.1111/pbi.14126 ISSN:

Affordable, accurate and unbiased RNA sequencing by manual library miniaturization: A case study in barley

Christopher Arlt, Thorsten Wachtmeister, Karl Köhrer, Benjamin Stich
  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology


We present an easy‐to‐reproduce manual miniaturized full‐length RNA sequencing (RNAseq) library preparation workflow that does not require the upfront investment in expensive lab equipment or long setup times. With minimal adjustments to an established commercial protocol, we were able to manually miniaturize the RNAseq library preparation by a factor of up to 1:8. This led to cost savings for miniaturized library preparation of up to 86.1% compared to the gold standard. The resulting data were the basis of a rigorous quality control analysis that inspected: sequencing quality metrics, gene body coverage, raw read duplications, alignment statistics, read pair duplications, detected transcripts and sequence variants. We also included a deep dive data analysis identifying rRNA contamination and suggested ways to circumvent these. In the end, we could not find any indication of biases or inaccuracies caused by the RNAseq library miniaturization. The variance in detected transcripts was minimal and not influenced by the miniaturization level. Our results suggest that the workflow is highly reproducible and the sequence data suitable for downstream analyses such as differential gene expression analysis or variant calling.

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