University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Genetics Seminar  > Single cell RNA-sequencing reveals a continuous spectrum of differentiation in haematopoietic cells.

Single cell RNA-sequencing reveals a continuous spectrum of differentiation in haematopoietic cells.

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Host: Anne Ferguson-Smith

The transcriptional programs that govern haematopoiesis have mainly been investigated by population-level analysis of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, which cannot reveal the continuous nature of the differentiation process. Here we applied single cell RNA -sequencing to a population of haematopoietic cells in zebrafish as they undergo thrombocyte lineage commitment. By reconstructing their developmental chronology computationally, we were able to place each cell along a continuum from stem cell to mature cell, refining the traditional lineage tree. The progression of cells along this continuum is characterised by a highly coordinated transcriptional program, displaying simultaneous suppression of genes involved in cell proliferation and ribosomal biogenesis as the expression of lineage specific genes increases. Within this program, there is substantial heterogeneity in the expression of the key lineage regulators. Overall, the total number of genes expressed, as well as the total mRNA content of the cell, decreases as the cells undergo lineage commitment.

This talk is part of the Genetics Seminar series.

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