Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 169, Issue 1, pp 43–51

Skew or third moment of bacterial generation times

  • W. J. Voorn
  • L. J. H. Koppes
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s002030050539

Cite this article as:
Voorn, W. & Koppes, L. Arch Microbiol (1997) 169: 43. doi:10.1007/s002030050539


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.

Key wordsEscherichia coli Kinetics of cellular division Cell size distributions Statistics of size Skewness Kurtosis 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. Voorn
    • 1
  • L. J. H. Koppes
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, P.O. Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands Tel. +31-72-5402640NL

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