Effect of the Min system on timing of cell division in Escherichia coli

Shuxin Jia, Daniela Keilberg, Edina Hot, Martin Thanbichler, Lotte Søgaard-Andersen, Peter Lenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Escherichia coli the Min protein system plays an important role in positioning the division site. We show that this system also has an effect on timing of cell division. We do this in a quantitative way by measuring the cell division waiting time (defined as time difference between appearance of a division site and the division event) and the Z-ring existence time. Both quantities are found to be different in WT and cells without functional Min system. We develop a series of theoretical models whose predictions are compared with the experimental findings. Continuous improvement leads to a final model that is able to explain all relevant experimental observations. In particular, it shows that the chromosome segregation defect caused by the absence of Min proteins has an important influence on timing of cell division. Our results indicate that the Min system affects the septum formation rate. In the absence of the Min proteins this rate is reduced, leading to the observed strongly randomized cell division events and the longer division waiting times.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere103863
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 4 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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