Average cell mass is shown to be inversely related to the concentration of thymine in the growth medium of a thy− strain of Escherichia coli. The kinetics of the transition from one steady-state average cell mass to another was followed in an attempt to determine the relationship between the chromosome replication time and the time between completion of a round of chromosome replication and the subsequent cell division. Differences in average cell mass are shown to be associated with similar differences in average cell volume. Changes in volume associated with changes in thymine concentration are shown to be due primarily to differences in the width of cells. It is proposed that extension in length of the cell envelope occurs at a linear rate which is proportional to the growth rate and which doubles at the time of termination of rounds of replication. Changes in volume not associated with a change in growth rate are therefore accommodated by a change in cell width. Conditions are described under which average cell mass can continue to increase in successive generations and no steady-state average cell mass is achieved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology