Origin of individuality of two daughter cells during the division process examined by the simultaneous measurement of growth and swimming property using an on-chip single-cell cultivation system

Senkei Umehara, Ippei Inoue, Yuichi Wakamoto, Kenji Yasuda

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We examined the origin of individuality of two daughter cells born from an isolated single Escherichia coli mother cell during its cell division process by monitoring the change in its swimming behavior and tumbling frequency using an on-chip single-cell cultivation system. By keeping the isolated condition of an observed single cell, we compared its growth and swimming property within a generation and over up to seven generations. It revealed that running speed decreased as cell length smoothly increased within each generation, whereas tumbling frequency fluctuated among generations. Also found was an extraordinary tumbling mode characterized by the prolonged duration of pausing in predivisional cells after cell constriction. The observed prolonged pausing may imply the coexistence of two distinct control systems in a predivisional cell, indicating that individuality of daughter cells emerges after a mother cell initiates constriction and before it gets physically separated into two new cell bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1061-1067
Number of pages7
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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