Intensively developed in the last few years, single-cell sequencing technologies now present numerous advantages over traditional sequencing methods for solving the problems of biological heterogeneity and low quantities of available biological materials. The application of single-cell sequencing technologies has profoundly changed our understanding of a series of biological phenomena, including gene transcription, embryo development, and carcinogenesis. However, before single-cell sequencing technologies can be used extensively, researchers face the serious challenge of overcoming inherent issues of high amplification bias, low accuracy and reproducibility. Here, we simply summarize the techniques used for single-cell isolation, and review the current technologies used in single-cell genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic sequencing. We discuss the merits, defects, and scope of application of single-cell sequencing technologies and then speculate on the direction of future developments.
Copyright © 2014 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Genetics Society of China. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.