What Is A Fluorescence Minus One, or FMO Control

The Fluorescence Minus One Control, or FMO control is a type of control used to properly interpret flow cytometry data.  It is used to identify and gate cells in the context of data spread due to the multiple fluorochromes in a given panel.

An FMO control contains all the flurochromes in a panel, except for the one that is being measured.  For example, in the four color panel, there would be four separate FMO controls, as shown in the table below.

Fluorescence Minus One | Expert Cytometry | Fluorescence Assisted Cell Sorting

The FMO control ensures that the any spread of the fluorochromes into the channel of interest is properly identified. The proper use is illustrated below.

Figure_1

As can be seen in this figure, the difference between the isotype bound and the FMO bound represents the spread of the data due to the fluorescence spread in the PE channel.

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Tim Bushnell, PhD
Tim Bushnell, PhD

Tim Bushnell holds a PhD in Biology from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a co-founder of—and didactic mind behind—ExCyte, the world’s leading flow cytometry training company, which organization boasts a veritable library of in-the-lab resources on sequencing, microscopy, and related topics in the life sciences.

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