Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Single-cell measurement of plasmid copy number and promoter activity



Bin Shao, Jayan Rammohan, Daniel Anderson, Nina Alperovich, David J. Ross, Christopher Voigt


We have developed a method to simultaneously count plasmid DNA, RNA transcripts, and protein expression in single living bacteria. From these data, the activity of a promoter in units of RNAP/s can be inferred. This work facilitates the reporting of promoters in absolute units, the variability in their activity across a population, and their quantitative toll on cellular resources, all of which provide critical insights for cellular engineering.
Nature Communications


Synthetic Biology, Biophysics, Design Automation, Metrology, Abstraction, Standards


Shao, B. , Rammohan, J. , Anderson, D. , Alperovich, N. , Ross, D. and Voigt, C. (2021), Single-cell measurement of plasmid copy number and promoter activity, Nature Communications, [online],, (Accessed July 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 5, 2021, Updated October 12, 2021