Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 55–59

On the precision and accuracy achieved by Escherichia coli cells at fission about their middle

  • Frank J. Trueba

DOI: 10.1007/BF00451499

Cite this article as:
Trueba, F.J. Arch. Microbiol. (1982) 131: 55. doi:10.1007/BF00451499


Length and width of each of the prospective siblings of constricted Escherichia coli cells from different strains and culture conditions were measured from electron micrographs. The data were statistically analyzed to investigate how equally the length and volume of one cell was divided into two. The analysis showed that, for all cultures, bipartition is unbiased or very nearly so, i.e. sibling cells were on the average equally long and large. The precision of bipartition attained by the cells was usually high; it was related to the average cell shape (length/width): slender E. coli cells divided into two less precisely than squat cells. Absolute size, growth rate and strain specificity affected the precision of bipartition only indirectly, i.e. in as much as they influenced cell shape.

Key words

Escherichia coli Cell division Bacterial morphology Symmetry 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank J. Trueba
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular CytologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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