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A stochastic process determines the time at which cell division begins in Escherichia coli



A stochastic process determines the time at which cell division begins in Escherichia coli



Journal of Theoretical Biology 118(3): 351-365



The theoretical distributions of cell masses in exponential cultures of bacteria were derived for both total cells and cells having formed a constriction in preparation for division. The parameters used for this derivation include the mass doubling time, .tau., the T-period, and 3 statistical parameters (h, .sigma., .sigma.2) which describe the variability of the cell cycle. The theoretical distributions wer e compared with observed distributions from E. coli B/rA growing in glucose minimal medium (45 min doubling time) to determine whether a stochastic process in the division pathway affects the time of initiation of constriction or the duration of the constriction process. The result indicate that the stochastic process determines the onset rather than the competition of constriction and that the timing of this process is coupled (6% variability, = .sigma.1) to a given cell mass. The values obtained for the duration of the T-period, T = 9.3 min, and for a half-life parameter associated with the stochastic process, h = 4.3 min, agree wtih previously reported data.

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Accession: 004630751

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PMID: 3520150


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