Macromolecular composition of bacteria. Academic Article uri icon


  • Equations are presented that describe the macromolecular composition in exponential bacterial cultures as functions of five parameters: doubling time of the culture (), protein per origin of replication (P0), chromosome replication time (C-period), peptide chain elongation rate (cp), and the time between termination of replication and cell division (D-period). Implicit in the value for some of these parameters is a specific macromolecular control system: the control of the growth rate (), the timing of initiation of rounds of chromosome replication (P0), and the regulation of cell division (D). The utility of these relations is illustrated by using updated measurements of the macromolecular composition of E. coli B/r to calculate values for the fundamental parameters and to predict the composition of a mutant which has a defect in the control of DNA replication. Furthermore, the meaning of several often-cited physiological parameters (RNA/protein, RNA/cell and RNA/genome) is examined. The relations presented here show that these parameters and their variation with growth rate are not directly relevant to arguments about control of ribosome synthesis or culture growth. 1982.

published proceedings

  • J Theor Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Churchward, G., Bremer, H., & Young, R.

citation count

  • 54

complete list of authors

  • Churchward, G||Bremer, H||Young, R

publication date

  • January 1982