Mapping and modeling the genomic basis of differential RNA isoform expression at single-cell resolution with LR-Split-seq

Elisabeth Rebboah, Fairlie Reese, Katherine Williams, Gabriela Balderrama-Gutierrez, Cassandra McGill, Diane Trout, Isaryhia Rodriguez, Heidi Liang, Barbara J. Wold & Ali Mortazavi.
Genome Biology. 2021-10-07;22(1):286.
The rise in throughput and quality of long-read sequencing should allow unambiguous identification of full-length transcript isoforms. However, its application to single-cell RNA-seq has been limited by throughput and expense. Here we develop and characterize long-read Split-seq (LR-Split-seq), which uses combinatorial barcoding to sequence single cells with long reads. Applied to the C2C12 myogenic system, LR-split-seq associates isoforms to cell types with relative economy and design flexibility. We find widespread evidence of changing isoform expression during differentiation including alternative transcription start sites (TSS) and/or alternative internal exon usage. LR-Split-seq provides an affordable method for identifying cluster-specific isoforms in single cells.