Automated cell cycle and cell size measurements for single-cell gene expression studies.


OBJECTIVES: Recent rise of single-cell studies revealed the importance of understanding the role of cell-to-cell variability, especially at the transcriptomic level. One of the numerous sources of cell-to-cell variation in gene expression is the heterogeneity in cell proliferation state. In order to identify how cell cycle and cell size influences gene expression variability at the single-cell level, we provide an universal and automatic toxic-free label method, compatible with single-cell high-throughput RT-qPCR. The method consists of isolating cells after a double-stained, analyzing their morphological parameters and performing a transcriptomic analysis on the same identified cells. RESULTS: This led to an unbiased gene expression analysis and could be also used for improving single-cell tracking and imaging when combined with cell isolation. As an application for this technique, we showed that cell-to-cell variability in chicken erythroid progenitors was negligibly influenced by cell size nor cell cycle

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