1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Two different cell-cycle processes determine the timing of cell division in Escherichia coli

  1. Alexandra Colin
  2. Gabriele Micali
  3. Louis Faure
  4. Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino  Is a corresponding author
  5. Sven van Teeffelen  Is a corresponding author
  1. Institut Pasteur, France
  2. ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  3. Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  4. IFOM Foundation and University of Milan, Italy
  5. Université de Montréal, Canada
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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e67495 doi: 10.7554/eLife.67495

Abstract

Cells must control the cell cycle to ensure that key processes are brought to completion. In Escherichia coli, it is controversial whether cell division is tied to chromosome replication or to a replication-independent inter-division process. A recent model suggests instead that both processes may limit cell division with comparable odds in single cells. Here, we tested this possibility experimentally by monitoring single-cell division and replication over multiple generations at slow growth. We then perturbed cell width, causing an increase of the time between replication termination and division. As a consequence, replication became decreasingly limiting for cell division, while correlations between birth and division and between subsequent replication-initiation events were maintained. Our experiments support the hypothesis that both chromosome replication and a replication-independent inter-division process can limit cell division: the two processes have balanced contributions in non-perturbed cells, while our width perturbations increase the odds of the replication-independent process being limiting.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in supplemental datasets provided for each figure. Average quantities and sample sizes for each biological replicate can be found in Supplementary file 1. Supplementary file 2 contains all single-cell data used in this study.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Alexandra Colin

    Microbial Morphogenesis and Growth Laboratory, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9144-3282
  2. Gabriele Micali

    Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Louis Faure

    Department of Neuro-Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Wien, Austria
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4621-586X
  4. Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino

    Quantitative Biology and Physics, IFOM Foundation and University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    For correspondence
    marco.cosentino-lagomarsino@ifom.eu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0235-0445
  5. Sven van Teeffelen

    Département de Microbiologie, Infectiologie et Immunologie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada
    For correspondence
    sven.vanteeffelen@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0877-1294

Funding

H2020 European Research Council (679980)

  • Sven van Teeffelen

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-10-LABX-62-IBEID)

  • Sven van Teeffelen

Mairie de Paris Emergence program

  • Sven van Teeffelen

Volkswagen Foundation Life program

  • Sven van Teeffelen

Italian Association for Cancer Research AIRC-IG (23258)

  • Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino

National Science Foundationce Foundation (310030_188642)

  • Gabriele Micali

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Agnese Seminara, University of Genoa, Italy

Publication history

  1. Received: February 12, 2021
  2. Accepted: October 5, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 6, 2021 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2021, Colin et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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