SUMMARY: The timing of cell and nuclear division of certain enteric bacteria was determined under conditions of balanced growth. Organisms were grown in a high refractive index medium and photographed at frequent intervals with a phase-contrast microscope. This allowed an estimation of the time between successive divisions of nuclei and cells (interdivision times) and the growth rate of each individual. The interdivision times of cell and nuclear divisions had a similar degree of variation (coefficients of variation of about 20%). The interdivision times of sister cells and sister nuclei were positively correlated to a significant degree. The correlation between mothers and daughters was negative to a significant degree in some, but not all, experiments. The correlation between interdivision times of a cell and that of its corresponding nucleus was positive in most experiments.

The rate of mass increase of individual cells was estimated by measuring the rate of elongation. Within the limitations of the method of observation, it could be concluded that cells grew exponentially between successive divisions. Different individuals grew with very nearly the same rate constant. The variation in of at the time of nuclear and cell division was smaller (coefficients of variation of about 10%) than that of the interdivision times.

Some observations on the morphological changes of nuclei during growth and division are presented.


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