• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jbacterPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJB ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Bacteriol. May 1974; 118(2): 407–413.
PMCID: PMC246772

Quantal Behavior of a Diffusible Factor Which Initiates Septum Formation at Potential Division Sites in Escherichia coli


Analysis of nucleated cell size in a minicell-producing strain of Escherichia coli and in its parental strain shows that the two distributions are considerably different. A model is proposed to account for this difference. The model states that: (i) in the mutant population, the cell poles are available as potential division sites in addition to the normally located division sites; (ii) the probability of a division occurring at any of the potential division sites is equal; and (iii) only enough “division factor” arises at each unit cell doubling to permit a single division. This factor is utilized entirely in the formation of a single septum. Thus, the occurrence of a polar division with the production of an anucleate minicell (which occurs only in the mutant strain) prevents the occurrence of a non-polar division, with the result that the average nucleated cell length is increased in minicell-producing strains. The model has been used to construct a theoretical population, and a number of parameters of the real and theoretical populations have been compared. The two populations are very similar in all of the parameters measured.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.1M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Adler HI, Fisher WD, Cohen A, Hardigree AA. MINIATURE escherichia coli CELLS DEFICIENT IN DNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1967 Feb;57(2):321–326. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Clark DJ. The regulation of DNA replication and cell division in E. coli B-r. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1968;33:823–838. [PubMed]
  • COLLINS JF, RICHMOND MH. Rate of growth of Bacillus cereus between divisions. J Gen Microbiol. 1962 Apr;28:15–33. [PubMed]
  • Donachie WD. Control of cell division in Escherichia coli: experiments with thymine starvation. J Bacteriol. 1969 Oct;100(1):260–268. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Donachie WD, Begg KJ. Growth of the bacterial cell. Nature. 1970 Sep 19;227(5264):1220–1224. [PubMed]
  • Jones NC, Donachie WD. Chromosome replication, transcription and control of cell division in Escherichia coli. Nat New Biol. 1973 May 23;243(125):100–103. [PubMed]
  • Pierucci O, Helmstetter CE. Chromosome replication, protein synthesis and cell division in Escherichia coli. Fed Proc. 1969 Nov-Dec;28(6):1755–1760. [PubMed]
  • POWELL EO. Growth rate and generation time of bacteria, with special reference to continuous culture. J Gen Microbiol. 1956 Dec;15(3):492–511. [PubMed]
  • Ryter A, Hirota Y, Jacob F. DNA-membrane complex and nuclear segregation in bacteria. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1968;33:669–676. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Bacteriology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...