Cell-size control and inheritance dynamics in bacteria

Hanna Salman
University of Pittsburgh
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 12:00pm
McLennan Physical Laboratories, Room MP606
Invited Speaker Seminar
Genetically identical cells exhibit large heterogeneity in their characteristics (such as size and protein content) even when experiencing homogenous environmental conditions. The evolution of this heterogeneity is limited in part by the inheritance of cellular traits from one generation to the next. In addition, this heterogeneity is controlled by molecular mechanisms to prevent the divergence of cellular properties over time. In this talk, I will introduce a new experimental technique for measuring how the heterogeneity in bacterial cell size develops over time, and discuss a possible mechanism that allows bacteria to control it. Our results show that the inheritance dynamics exhibit long term memory up to~10 generations that restricts the variation of cell size, and reveal a feedback mechanism that acts to limit the heterogeneity acquired during cell division as a result of cellular noise.
Anton Zilman
BiophysTO Lunchtime Talks