The dynamics of heterogeneous clonal lineages within a cell population, in aggregate, shape both normal and pathological biological processes. Studies of clonality typically relate the fitness of clones to their relative abundance, thus requiring long-term experiments and limiting conclusions about the heterogeneity of clonal fitness in response to perturbation. We present, for the first time, a method that enables a dynamic, global picture of clonal fitness within a mammalian cell population. This novel assay allows facile comparison of the structure of clonal fitness in a cell population across many perturbations. By utilizing high-throughput imaging, our methodology provides ample statistical power to define clonal fitness dynamically and to visualize the structure of perturbation-induced clonal fitness within a cell population. We envision that this technique will be a powerful tool to investigate heterogeneity in biological processes involving cell proliferation, including development and drug response.
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