Clontech Laboratories, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takara Bio, announced the launch of the SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq kit for strand-specific RNA-Seq from low-input RNA samples.

The SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq kit combines Clontech Laboratories’ patented SMART (switching mechanism at 5′ end of RNA template) technology for full-length cDNA synthesis with direct addition of a PCR adaptor, and creates indexed libraries for Illumina NGS platforms in under four hours.

Clontech Laboratories’ SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit has significant advantages, including greater than 99% accuracy in strand identification even with very low inputs of sample (100pg-10ng input RNA), and a simple protocol that can be completed in half a day.

The SMARTer Stranded RNA-Seq Kit is ideal for most RNA-Seq applications, including antisense transcript and noncoding RNA identification, and for identifying the source of overlapping reads, such as reads from closely spaced or overlapping genes, from closely related genes, or from prokaryotic organisms.

Clontech Laboratories general manager Carol Lou noted the company has already pushed the limits of RNA-Seq down to extremely low inputs — for example, with its SMARTer ultra low RNA kit for Illumina sequencing.

"Now, we are expanding the applications of SMART technology to include cDNA synthesis that retains strand origination data.

"This strand information is critical for analyzing antisense transcripts, noncoding RNAs, and closely spaced and overlapping genes, particularly in eukaryotic organisms with incompletely-annotated or un-annotated transcriptomes and in prokaryotic organisms, which have very compact genomes," Lou added.

Clontech Laboratories plans to continue expanding the use of SMART technology for NGS, particularly in areas where low sample input is a constraint or a requirement.