Agriculture, VetMed, and
Model Organisms

Gene Expression Profiling: A Better Understanding of Health and Disease

Differential gene expression profiling of messenger RNA allows researchers to understand the molecular impact of exposure to different environmental stimuli, diseases, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals.  The advent of genomics has revolutionized research in the fields of agriculture, veterinary medicine, and model organisms. Having sequenced the DNA of various crops, domestic animals, and non-human species, scientists are beginning to understand the underlying pathways and processes that define the biology of these different organisms. 

There are a multitude of applications for gene expression profiling in agriculture, veterinary medicine and model organism research.  Examples include:

  • Agriculture: Studying the gene expression of various crops under stress has led to the development of hardier and drought tolerant strains that produce higher yields.
  • Veterinary Medicine: Elucidating the pathogenesis of common ailments such as cancer or kidney disease allows researchers to develop better treatments for these conditions in companion animals and humans. Understanding host/pathogen interactions has led to better vaccination strategies for domestic animals.
  • Model Organisms: Pathway analysis of genes involved in tissue and organ growth helps build a framework for evolution and developmental biology while pharmaceutical studies lead to the discovery of novel drug targets and a better understanding of mechanism of action.

Direct Digital Detection Maximizes Reproducibility and Productivity

nCounter® Gene Expression assays reduce time to data with a simple workflow of less than 15 minutes hands-on time and streamlined analysis, generating results in under 24 hours.  The platform is ideal for processing higher numbers of samples commonly seen in studies with plants, animals, and model organisms; minimal hands-on time maximizes productivity in the lab.

  • Profile up to 800 genes from a single sample
  • Flexible content allows you to select the organism/genes of your choice
  • Compatible with total RNA and crude lysate
  • No amplification, RT or library prep with as little as 25 ng input material required
  • No technical replicates required due to direct, digital counting
  • Sample multiplexing with PlexSet™ reagents allows you to profile 96 genes in 96 samples with one run, generating 9,216 data points
  • Lysate-compatible protocol for processing multiple samples more efficiently
Custom CodeSets Hybridization Diagram

NanoString offers a variety of custom solutions for gene expression profiling and analysis:

Custom CodeSets User-designed, turn-key solution that comes ready-to-use 800 24-96
ElementsTM TagSets Self-assembled, interchangeable probes, optimized for smaller validation projects with maximum flexibility 216 24-96
PlexSetTM Reagents Self-assembled, interchangeable probes for high-throughput, samples multiplexing projects 96 192-1152


Assay content is designed by NanoString bioinformaticians free of charge. Probes for up to 800 transcript targets can be designed for any species of interest with a known sequence.  Contact us for more information or to discuss your design with our bioinformatics team.


nCounter probe sets have been designed for over 300 species, and there have been more than 6,000 probe designs made to date.

Agriculture Veterinary Medicine Model Organisms
Oil Palm Horse Mouse
Tobacco Cow Rat
Potato Sheep Rhesus macaque
Carrot Pig Arabidopsis
Rice Chicken Fruit Fly
Soy Dog Zebrafish
Honey Bee Cat Yeast
    Chinese Hamster



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  2. Tai, HH et al. Verticillium dahliae Disease Resistance and the Regulatory Pathway for Maturity and Tuberization in Potato. Plant Genome. 2018;11(1)1-15.
  3. Greenham K et al. Temporal network analysis identifies early physiological and transcriptomic indicators of mild drought in Brassica rapa. Elife. 2017;(6).
  4. Neilson, J et al. Gene expression profiles predictive of cold-induced sweetening in potato. Funct Integr Genomics. 2017;17(4):459-476.
  5. Gálvez JH et al. The nitrogen responsive transcriptome in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) reveals significant gene regulatory motifs. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:26090.
  6. Tsai YC et al. Characterization of genes involved in cytokinin signaling and metabolism from rice. Plant Physiol. 2012;158(4):1666-84.
  7. Poster: NanoString PlexSet for circadian gene expression study in arabidopsis thaliana
  1. Genís S et al. Effect of metritis on endometrium tissue transcriptome during puerperium in Holstein lactating cows. Theriogenology. 2018;122:116-23.
  2. Dhawan D et al. Naturally-occurring canine invasive urothelial carcinoma harbors luminal and basal transcriptional subtypes found in human muscle invasive bladder cancer. PLoS Genet. 2018;14(8).
  3. Heiser A et al. Pegbovigrastim treatment affects gene expression in neutrophils of pasture-fed, periparturient cows. J Diary Sci. 2018; 101(9):8194-8207.
  4. Zylberberg et al. Avian keratin disorder of Alaska black-capped chickadees is associated with Poecivirus infection. Virol J. 2018;15(1):100.
  5. Griffin J et al. Temporal embryonic transcription of chicken fast skeletal myosin heavy chain isoforms in the single comb white leghorn. Poult Sci. 2016;95(5):1151-55.
  6. O’Connor CM et al. Adoptive T-cell therapy improves treatment of canine non–Hodgkin lymphoma post chemotherapy. Sci Rep. 2012;2:249.
  1. Keith SA et al. Identification of Microbiota-Induced Gene Expression Changes in the Drosophila melanogaster Head. bioRxiv. 2019.
  2. Schaefer A et al. Analysis of fibrosis in control or pressure overloaded rat hearts after mechanical unloading by heterotopic heart transplantation. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):5710.
  3. Adams SM et al. Temporal Profile of Transporter mRNA Expression in the Brain after Traumatic Brain Injury in Developing Rats. bioRxiv. 2019.
  4. Anderson SM et al. The fatty acid oleate is required for innate immune activation and pathogen defense in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Pathog. 2019;15(6).
  5. Peterson ND et al. The nuclear hormone receptor NHR-86 controls anti-pathogen responses in C. elegans. PLoS Genet. 2019;15(1).
  6. Sun W et al. Pathogenic tau-induced piRNA depletion promotes neuronal death through transposable element dysregulation in neurodegenerative tauopathies. Nat Neurosci. 2018;21(8):1038-48.


For Research Use Only.  Not for use in Diagnostic Procedures.