Development of a highly reproducible and sensitive single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) method would facilitate the understanding of the biological roles and underlying mechanisms of non-genetic cellular heterogeneity. In this study, we report a novel single-cell RNA-seq method called Quartz-Seq that has a simpler protocol and higher reproducibility and sensitivity than existing methods. We show that single-cell Quartz-Seq can quantitatively detect various kinds of non-genetic cellular heterogeneity, and can detect different cell types and different cell-cycle phases of a single cell type. Moreover, this method can comprehensively reveal gene-expression heterogeneity between single cells of the same cell type in the same cell-cycle phase.
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