RNA-Seq (RNA sequencing), also called whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (WTSS), uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) to reveal the presence and quantity of RNA in a biological sample at a given moment in time.
RNA-Seq is used to analyze the continually changing cellular transcriptome. Specifically, RNA-Seq facilitates the ability to look at alternative gene spliced transcripts, post-transcriptional modifications, gene fusion, mutations/SNPs and changes in gene expression. In addition to mRNA transcripts, RNA-Seq can look at different populations of RNA to include total RNA, small RNA, such as miRNA, tRNA, and ribosomal profiling. RNA-Seq can also be used to determine exon/intron boundaries and verify or amend previously annotated 5′ and 3′ gene boundaries.