Genomes, epigenomes, transcriptomes, proteomes, and
metabolomes. The list goes on...
In this rapidly evolving 'omics' era, researchers are generally becoming less enthusiastic about analyzing a genome, a transcriptome, or a proteome, etc., in isolation. More and more, researchers want to study multiple 'omes' in parallel, and one of the most popular combinations nowadays is genome and transcriptome analysis from the same sample.
When a Single 'Ome' Is Not Enough
The motivation for studying the genome and transcriptome in the same sample depends largely on the research setting or question.
In the clinic, this approach might be used to study the relationships between copy number variation and gene expression for a disease-relevant protein, where the results could help to stratify patients according to their likely response to various treatments.
In a research setting, one might want to study the genomic potential of the microorganisms present in a given sample type (metagenomics) as well as the level of gene expression activity (metatranscriptomics).
Multiple Isolations from the Same Precious Sample
If you are planning to conduct a combined genome and transcriptome study, you will obviously need good protocols to isolate DNA and RNA from the same sample. From a technical point of view, this is usually pretty straightforward for researchers working with easily culturable samples, for example, established cell lines, bacteria, and fungi. Here, having ample sample material is rarely an issue, and there is a sea of good isolation kits available on the market for DNA and RNA isolation from commonly used sample types. Isolating DNA and RNA from individual samples of your chosen organism probably won't put you out too much in the lab. However, the approach does bring a few problems to mind:
- Isolating RNA and DNA from individual samples may be time-consuming, potentially slowing down your research and increasingly the likelihood of human error
- It is likely to be an expensive approach, given the requirement for two dedicated protocols/kits
- Perhaps most importantly, unavoidable variations between the individual samples (it is biology after all!) could impact your data significantly
- For those working with more precious or difficult-to-obtain samples, such as primary cell lines, biopsies, or slow-growing microorganisms, gathering enough material for two separate isolation protocols might be a serious bottleneck
So What's the Solution?
Co-Purification of DNA and RNA of Course!
Zymo Research has an impressive range of DNA and RNA parallel and co-purification kits for the sequential isolation or clean-up of RNA (including miRNA) and DNA from a single sample. These kits are available in single-tube format for standard and small input amounts, as well as in 96-well and magnetic bead formats for high-throughput and automated applications. No sample splitting is required since the isolations are performed sequentially, and the protocols are free of phenol and precipitation steps, making them easier and faster than other approaches.
Something for Everyone!
The kits can be used to co-purify and clean-up DNA and RNA from very diverse sample types as outlined in the table below, meaning that there really is something here for everyone!