Novel Technologies for Studying Functional Genomics at the Level of Single Cells

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November 7, 2014

Higher eukaryotes, including plants, comprise tissues and organs comprising complex interspersions of different cell types. One of the challenges in determining the collective function of these tissues and organs is in defining the functions and contributions of the different cell types. We have extensively developed and deployed methods for analysis of gene expression within different cell types based on the use of flow cytometry and cell sorting, coupled to the regulated expression and targeting of Fluorescent Protein markers within specific cell types. This presentation will discuss these methods, and their results, and will go on to consider the extent to which they can be applied to the analysis of single cells. The ability to measure transcription within individual cells raises and identifies the issue of stochasticity within the overall framework of a shared pattern of gene expression within specific cell types and, together with the recent emergence of evidence for genomic variability within somatic cells, predicts the existence of further regulatory levels that constrain cell function.

GenomicsMicrofluidics

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