Chromosomal locus tracking with proper accounting of static and dynamic errors

Mikael P. Backlund, Ryan Joyner, W. E. Moerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mean-squared displacement (MSD) and velocity autocorrelation (VAC) of tracked single particles or molecules are ubiquitous metrics for extracting parameters that describe the object's motion, but they are both corrupted by experimental errors that hinder the quantitative extraction of underlying parameters. For the simple case of pure Brownian motion, the effects of localization error due to photon statistics ("static error") and motion blur due to finite exposure time ("dynamic error") on the MSD and VAC are already routinely treated. However, particles moving through complex environments such as cells, nuclei, or polymers often exhibit anomalous diffusion, for which the effects of these errors are less often sufficiently treated. We present data from tracked chromosomal loci in yeast that demonstrate the necessity of properly accounting for both static and dynamic error in the context of an anomalous diffusion that is consistent with a fractional Brownian motion (FBM). We compare these data to analytical forms of the expected values of the MSD and VAC for a general FBM in the presence of these errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062716
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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