The Tabula Muris Consortium. Nature 562, 367–372 (2018).
Single-cell atlas projects have enormous potential to catalog cell types within tissues and to serve as reference datasets that define baseline gene expression in model organs. The Tabula Muris project undertook single-cell RNA sequencing of more than 100,000 cells in 20 different organs from three-month-old mice. For data generation, roughly half of the cells were sequenced via droplet-based 3′-end sequencing, and the other half were sequenced via plate-based full-length sequencing after cell sorting. Libraries were likely sequenced to saturation and highlighted differences between the technologies: the plate-based method tended to detect many more genes, although this varied by organ. Fine-grained cell clustering allowed the identification of universal and organ-specific gene expression patterns in cell types shared across organs. The authors also were able to extract transcription factor signatures that defined cell types.