RNA Sequencing


RNA Sequencing (RNA-Seq) has become the gold standard method for genome-wide gene expression analysis in different biological conditions, as well as the detection of splice variants, transcriptome analysis, and the discovery non-coding RNAs. We provide several different library kit options for RNA-Seq library creation to accommodate varying sample types, including kits for low input and partially degraded samples, as well as options for polyA enrichment or ribosomal reduction. The UMGC offers a complete RNA-Seq workflow starting from RNA extraction through RNA QC analysis, and in partnership with UMII, analysis of RNA-Seq data through streamlined pipelines.

Please see our PacBio service to sequence full-length transcripts up to 10kb or longer and our Single-cell service for gene expression profiling of single cells.

Charter Service

Charter Service 1

Charter Service is our low-cost RNA-Seq service at $179/sample (UMN rate) that provides a monthly shared sequencing run that departs on the 1st business day of the month, whether the (p)lane is filled or not. Carry-on luggage is restricted to 20 million reads/sample on a 150 PE run, but additional space can be purchased in 20-million-read increments at $100/sample.

RNA samples are submitted in increments of 8 with a 16-sample minimum and must pass security (QC) by the 1st of the previous month to start either the TruSeq Stranded mRNA kit or the Pico Mammalian v2 kit. Samples passing QC at the scheduled validation deadline are guaranteed to have data released in 4 weeks. Please see the Charter Service calendar for upcoming submission deadlines and data release turnaround times.

Batching RNA-Seq projects into a shared, scheduled monthly run enables us to offer a competitive RNA-Seq rate with a guaranteed 1-month turnaround time. Samples are sequenced in-house on our NovaSeq 6000 using a 150 PE flow cell. Need a more flexible flight plan with no luggage restrictions? Please see our standard service to purchase a devoted lane of sequencing for your RNA-Seq project.

Standard Service

Unlike the Charter Service, our Standard RNA-Seq Service has no restrictions regarding minimum number of samples, depth or read length, QC cut-off dates, and includes any of the library prep kits available at the UMGC. However, clients who elect for this service will follow our standard sequencing queue turnaround time and will see slightly longer turnaround times than the Charter Service. This is an a-la-carte service where the cost of the library prep and sequencing are priced separately, where clients purchase sequencing in lane increments.

Comparison of RNA-Seq kits available at the UMGC. 1) Illumina Stranded Total RNA Prep includes the Illumina Ribo-Zero Plus rRNA Depletion Kit, which provides efficient removal of ribosomal RNA from multiple species, including human, mouse, rat, and bacteria. 2) UMGC sample submission requirements.


For questions or a quote, please contact Elyse Froehling at next-gen@umn.edu.



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Charter Service1 Scale Unit UMN External
20 Million Reads. 150 PE Sequencing.        
Illumina TruSeq Stranded mRNA. 16-any sample $179.00 $205.00
Takara SMARTer Pico Mammalian. 16-any sample $179.00 $205.00
Additional 150 PE NovaSeq Sequencing. 20M sample $100.00 $115.00
Library Creation Only2 Scale Unit UMN External
TruSeq Stranded mRNA. 1-any sample $114.12 $131.53
Stranded with Ribosomal Reduction. 1-any sample $193.62 $222.64
Small RNA.3 12-any sample $191.71 $220.77
SMARTer Pico Mammalian. 1-any sample $133.53 $153.84
Small RNA3 12-any sample $152.87 $176.11


  1.  Charter Service is a shared, scheduled sequencing run the 1st of the month with submission timeline requirements. Samples are submitted in batches of 8 with a 16-sample minimum. Posted rate includes library prep + sequencing. RNA sample QC (PicoGreen + RNA sizing) is additional. 
  2.  Library creation rate only for our Standard Service. Please see our sequencing rates for RNA-Sequencing using your own dedicated lane and read length and depth. Standard sequencing queue turnaround applies. RNA sample QC (PicoGreen + RNA sizing) is additional.
  3.  12-sample minimum.

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How to Order

Please contact next-gen@umn.edu for project specifications.

Once project details are finalized, complete appropriate submission form for submitting samples or submitting client-made libraries and email to next-gen@umn.edu.


Illumina Sequencing Request Form (Libraries)

Illumina Sequencing Request Form (Samples)

Shipping Instruction

Samples should be frozen and shipped on dry ice in a 96-well plate. We recommend using plate tape to seal the wells. Place the plate inside of a plastic bag prior to placing on dry ice. Please give advance notice of submission date and time so staff can be prepared to receive samples. If shipping samples from outside the University of Minnesota, ship via express shipping carrier on dry ice to the address below:

Samples can be dropped off at one of our laboratory locations.

1-202 Nils Hasselmo Hall (Minneapolis campus)

1-210 Cancer & Cardiovascular Research Building (Minneapolis campus)

20 Snyder Hall (St. Paul campus)

If shipping samples, the following address should be used.

Please send the tracking information to next-gen@umn.edu.

University of Minnesota Genomics Center
1475 Gortner Avenue
28 Snyder Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108


What is the turnaround time?

Generally, turnaround is 6-8 weeks for standard NGS projects. However, please contact next-gen@umn.edu for specific project turnaround time.