I was translating the following sentence from Russian, and realized I was not sure how to put it right:

The study shows that the electropherograms of the studied samples of DRUG NAME obtained in reducing conditions contain two clearly delineated bands with a mean total coverage of 99%, while the minor bands have a coverage of 1%.

The intended meaning is: of the whole stained area of the lane, the two principal bands cover 99%, while the minor bands only contribute an insignificant amount: 1%.

The original Russian word is содержание (content), but this is ambiguous, because we are really describing the contribution of the bands.

I'm not sure what word/expression to use. Is this "coverage" traditionally measured as the area, or as the length, of the band relative to the total area/length of the lane? How is it usually described?

  • $\begingroup$ You can compare band thickness but if a band is occupying more than 5% of the lane (of a usual SDS-PAGE gel) then it is not really a good band and you need to reduce the protein amount in the sample. Moreover, these kind of band quantifications (of specific proteins) are usually done after western blot. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Oct 5 '16 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG - the bands really occupy only a minor part of the actual lane, it's that the two principal bands contain 99% of the staining, I mean, of the dyed part of the lane. $\endgroup$ – CopperKettle Oct 5 '16 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG - the word might be density, according to this document. They measure density of the bands, then look how much this or that band controbuted to this total density. $\endgroup$ – CopperKettle Oct 5 '16 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ You might also try posting to Math SE. A representation of data is essentially a mathematical object, and mathematicians tend to be very precise with their words. If you just want non-expert suggestions, I might say "accounting for 99% of the stained area". $\endgroup$ – Mark Bailey Oct 5 '16 at 18:52

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