Nutrient-Dependent Trade-Offs between Ribosomes and Division Protein Synthesis Control Bacterial Growth and Cell Shape
23 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2020 Sneak Peek Status: Under ReviewMore...
Cell size control emerges from a regulated balance between the rates of cell growth and division. In bacteria, simple quantitative laws connect cellular growth rate to ribosome abundance. However, it remains poorly understood how translation regulates bacterial cell size and shapes under growth perturbations. Here we develop a whole-cell model for growth dynamics in rod-shaped bacteria that links ribosomal abundance with cell geometry, division control, and the extracellular environment. Our study reveals that cell shape maintenance under nutrient perturbations requires a balanced trade-off between ribosomes and division protein synthesis. Deviations from this trade-off relationship is predicted under translational perturbations, leading to distinct modes of cell morphological changes, in agreement with single-cell experimental data on Escherichia coli. Furthermore, by calibrating our model with experimental data, we predict how combinations of nutrient-, translational- and shape perturbations can be chosen to optimize bacterial growth fitness and drug resistance.
Keywords: whole-cell model, bacterial growth, cell size, cell shape control, translation, antibiotics
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