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Long-term microfluidic tracking of coccoid cyanobacterial cells reveals robust control of division timing

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, February 2017
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (88th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
13 tweeters


25 Dimensions

Readers on

67 Mendeley
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Long-term microfluidic tracking of coccoid cyanobacterial cells reveals robust control of division timing
Published in
BMC Biology, February 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12915-016-0344-4
Pubmed ID

Feiqiao Brian Yu, Lisa Willis, Rosanna Man Wah Chau, Alessandro Zambon, Mark Horowitz, Devaki Bhaya, Kerwyn Casey Huang, Stephen R. Quake


Cyanobacteria are important agents in global carbon and nitrogen cycling and hold great promise for biotechnological applications. Model organisms such as Synechocystis sp. and Synechococcus sp. have advanced our understanding of photosynthetic capacity and circadian behavior, mostly using population-level measurements in which the behavior of individuals cannot be monitored. Synechocystis sp. cells are small and divide slowly, requiring long-term experiments to track single cells. Thus, the cumulative effects of drift over long periods can cause difficulties in monitoring and quantifying cell growth and division dynamics. To overcome this challenge, we enhanced a microfluidic cell-culture device and developed an image analysis pipeline for robust lineage reconstruction. This allowed simultaneous tracking of many cells over multiple generations, and revealed that cells expand exponentially throughout their cell cycle. Generation times were highly correlated for sister cells, but not between mother and daughter cells. Relationships between birth size, division size, and generation time indicated that cell-size control was inconsistent with the "sizer" rule, where division timing is based on cell size, or the "timer" rule, where division occurs after a fixed time interval. Instead, single cell growth statistics were most consistent with the "adder" rule, in which division occurs after a constant increment in cell volume. Cells exposed to light-dark cycles exhibited growth and division only during the light period; dark phases pause but do not disrupt cell-cycle control. Our analyses revealed that the "adder" model can explain both the growth-related statistics of single Synechocystis cells and the correlation between sister cell generation times. We also observed rapid phenotypic response to light-dark transitions at the single cell level, highlighting the critical role of light in cyanobacterial cell-cycle control. Our findings suggest that by monitoring the growth kinetics of individual cells we can build testable models of circadian control of the cell cycle in cyanobacteria.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 13 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 67 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 67 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 17 25%
Researcher 13 19%
Student > Master 12 18%
Student > Bachelor 7 10%
Student > Postgraduate 5 7%
Other 9 13%
Unknown 4 6%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 24 36%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 17 25%
Engineering 8 12%
Immunology and Microbiology 3 4%
Medicine and Dentistry 3 4%
Other 9 13%
Unknown 3 4%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 15. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 March 2019.
All research outputs
of 15,922,255 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
of 1,363 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 409,156 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
of 2 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,922,255 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 91st percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,363 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 19.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 68% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 409,156 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 88% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them