Bystrykh LV, Belderbos ME
Methods Mol. Biol. 2016 Apr;
Cellular barcoding is a recently rediscovered tool to trace the clonal output of individual cells with genetically distinct and heritable DNA sequences. Each year a few dozens of papers are published using the cellular barcoding technique. Those publications largely focus on mutually related issues, namely: counting cells capable of clonal proliferation and expansion, monitoring clonal dynamics in time, tracing the origin of differentiated cells, characterizing the differentiation potential of stem cells and similar topics. Apart from their biological content, claims and conclusions, these studies show remarkable diversity in technical aspects of the barcoding method and sometimes in major conclusions. Although a diversity of approaches is quite usual in data analysis, deviant handling of barcode data might directly affect experimental results and their biological interpretation. Here, we will describe typical challenges and caveats in cellular barcoding publications available so far.