You are here

Concerted control of Escherichia coli cell division.

TitleConcerted control of Escherichia coli cell division.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOsella, M, Nugent, E, Cosentino Lagomarsino, M
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2014 Mar 4
KeywordsCell Division, Escherichia coli, Microfluidic Analytical Techniques, Models, Biological, Time Factors

The coordination of cell growth and division is a long-standing problem in biology. Focusing on Escherichia coli in steady growth, we quantify cell division control using a stochastic model, by inferring the division rate as a function of the observable parameters from large empirical datasets of dividing cells. We find that (i) cells have mechanisms to control their size, (ii) size control is effected by changes in the doubling time, rather than in the single-cell elongation rate, (iii) the division rate increases steeply with cell size for small cells, and saturates for larger cells. Importantly, (iv) the current size is not the only variable controlling cell division, but the time spent in the cell cycle appears to play a role, and (v) common tests of cell size control may fail when such concerted control is in place. Our analysis illustrates the mechanisms of cell division control in E. coli. The phenomenological framework presented is sufficiently general to be widely applicable and opens the way for rigorous tests of molecular cell-cycle models.

Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PubMed ID24550446
PubMed Central IDPMC3948223

Open Positions