Thursday, 19 February 2015

How bacteria control their size

New work shows that bacteria (and probably other cells as well) don't double in mass before dividing. Instead they add a constant volume (or mass) no matter what their initial size. A small cell adds the same volume as a large cell. By following this rule a cell population quickly converges on a common size. A new study has found that found that rather than doubling in size every generation, each cell added the same volume (or mass; the term reflects the measurement technique). Importantly a cell that was small added the same volume as a cell that was large. For further details see: Sattar Taheri-Araghi, Serena Bradde, John T. Sauls, Norbert S. Hill, Petra Anne Levin, Johan Paulsson, Massimo Vergassola, Suckjoon Jun. Cell-Size Control and Homeostasis in Bacteria. Current Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.009
Posted by Tim Sandle