, Volume 169, Issue 1, pp 43-51

Skew or third moment of bacterial generation times

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We studied two statistical hypotheses for the occurrence of cellular division and compared these hypotheses to available data. The two models were tested by observed distributions of cellular size during steady-state growth. The 30-year-old sloppy size model could be rejected, whereas the recently developed incremental size proposal could not. The latter proposition was accepted by default. We concluded that the time between successive divisions is not simply derived from extant size at cellular division, but rather from interdivisional size increment. We therefore propose that cellular division is regulated by the need of cells at birth to accumulate a certain amount of mass or something related to mass before division.