Studies of transcriptomes are critical for understanding gene expression. Release of RNA molecules from cells is typically the first step for transcriptomic analysis. Effective cell lysis approaches that completely release intracellular materials are in high demand especially for cells that are structurally robust. In this report, we demonstrate a microfluidic electric lysis device that is effective for mRNA extraction from mycobacteria that have hydrophobic and waxy cell walls. We used a packed bed of microscale silica beads to filter M. smegmatis out of the suspension. 4000-8000 V/cm field intensity was used to lyse M. smegmatis with long pulses (i.e., up to 30 pulses that were 5 s long each). Our quantitative reverse transcription (qRT)-PCR results showed that our method yielded a factor of 10-20 higher extraction efficiency than the current state-of-the-art method (bead beating). We conclude that our electric lysis technique is an effective approach for mRNA release from hard-to-lyse cells and highly compatible with microfluidic molecular assays.