RNA-Seq in Nonmodel Organisms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


RNA-Seq is nowadays an indispensable approach for comparative transcriptome profiling in model and nonmodel organisms. Analyzing RNA-Seq data from nonmodel organisms poses unique challenges, due to unavailability of a high-quality genome reference and to relative sparsity of tools for downstream functional analyses. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the analysis steps in RNA-Seq projects of nonmodel organisms, while elaborating on aspects that are unique to this analysis. These will include (1) strategic decisions that have to be made in advance, regarding sequencing technology and reference to use; (2) how to search for available draft genomes, and, if necessary, how to improve their gene prediction and annotation; (3) how to clean raw reads before de novo assembly; (4) how to separate the reads in RNA-Seq projects of symbiont organisms; (5) how to design and carry out a de novo transcriptome assembly that will be comprehensive and reliable; (6) how to assess transcriptome quality; (7) when and how to reduce redundancy in the transcriptome; (8) techniques and considerations in transcriptome functional annotation; (9) quantitating transcript abundance in the face of high transcriptome redundancy; and, most importantly, (10) how to achieve functional enrichment testing using available tools which either support a large range of species or enable a universal, non–species-specific analysis. Throughout the chapter, we will refer to a variety of useful software tools. For the initial analysis steps involving high-volume data, these will include Linux-based programs. For the later steps, we will describe both Linux and R packages for advanced users, as well as many user-friendly tools for nonprogrammers. Finally, we will present a full workflow for RNA-Seq analysis of nonmodel organisms using the NeatSeq-Flow platform, which can be used locally through a user-friendly interface.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Annotation
  • De novo assembly
  • Differential expression
  • Expression profiling
  • Functional enrichment
  • Nonmodel organisms
  • Pathway analysis
  • RNA-Seq
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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