, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 475-483

A note on the dispersionless growth law for single cells

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A population of initially synchronized cells is considered wherein each cell grows according to a dispersionless growth law and the probability of cell division is determined by cell age. The first and second moments of the distribution of birth volumes are considered as functions of time and it is shown that it is impossible for both moments to approach finite, nonzero limits ast→∞. This implies that the volume distribution of the population will not approach a limiting distribution on any finite, nonzero volume interval and that the population will not attain balanced exponential growth. An illustrative example is worked out in detail. The distribution of birth volumes is also analyzed as a function of generation number and it is found that the logarithm of the birth volume in thejth generation is normally distributed asj→∞, with an unbounded variance. Generalizations and implications of these results are briefly discussed.

Work supported by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.