The cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 has multiple copies of its single chromosome, and the copy number varies in individual cells, providing an ideal system to study the effect of genome copy-number variation on cell size and gene expression. Using single-cell fluorescence imaging, we found that protein concentration remained constant across individual cells regardless of genome copy number. Cell volume and the total protein amount from a single gene were both positively, linearly correlated with genome copy number, suggesting that changes in cell volume play an important role in buffering genome copy-number variance. This study provides a quantitative examination of gene expression regulation in cells with variable genome copies and sheds light on the compensation mechanisms for variance in genome copy number.
Zheng, X. yu, & O’Shea, E. K. (2017). Cyanobacteria Maintain Constant Protein Concentration despite Genome Copy-Number Variation. Cell Reports, 19(3), 497–504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.03.067