Estimation of promoter activity from time-lapse data

Promoter activity was estimated as previously described (24, 65). Briefly, if the total area of the cell is A(t) and the average pixel intensity is C(t), then Ftotal = A(t)C(t). It follows that1AdFtotaldt=C1AdAdt+dCdt

The left term 1AdFtotaldt, i.e., the “cell size normalized” production rate, was operationally defined as the promoter activity. To compute promoter activity, 1AdAdt, i.e., the relative growth rate of the cell, was estimated by taking the log ratio of the initial and final area of the cell for each cell division. dCdt was estimated by smoothing our fluorescence traces with a Savitzky-Golay filter and taking the numerical derivative. See the “Estimation of promoter activity” section in the Supplementary Materials for more details.

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