Point of view: Is cell size a spandrel?


Amir A. Point of view: Is cell size a spandrel?. eLife [Internet]. 2017;6 :e22186.


All organisms control the size of their cells. We focus here on the question of size regulation in bacteria, and suggest that the quantitative laws governing cell size and its dependence on growth rate may arise as byproducts of a regulatory mechanism which evolved to support multiple DNA replication forks. In particular, we show that the increase of bacterial cell size during Lenski’s long-term evolution experiments is a natural outcome of this proposal. This suggests that, in the context of evolution, cell size may be a 'spandrel'

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Last updated on 01/22/2017