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A ten-year search for synchronous cells: obstacles, solutions, and practical applications.

Helmstetter CE - Front Microbiol (2015)

Bottom Line: My effort to use synchronously dividing cultures to examine the Escherichia coli cell cycle involved a 10-year struggle with failure after failure punctuated by a few gratifying successes, especially at the end.In this essay, I recount my personal journey in this obsessive experimental pursuit.That narrative is followed by a description of a simplified version of the "baby machine," a technique that was developed to obtain minimally disturbed, synchronously growing E. coli cells.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL, USA.

ABSTRACT
My effort to use synchronously dividing cultures to examine the Escherichia coli cell cycle involved a 10-year struggle with failure after failure punctuated by a few gratifying successes, especially at the end. In this essay, I recount my personal journey in this obsessive experimental pursuit. That narrative is followed by a description of a simplified version of the "baby machine," a technique that was developed to obtain minimally disturbed, synchronously growing E. coli cells. Subsequent studies with this methodology led to an understanding of the basic properties of the relationship between chromosome replication and cell division. Accordingly, I end this reminiscence with a simple, fool-proof graphical strategy for deducing the pattern of chromosome replication during the division cycle of cells growing at any rate.

No MeSH data available.


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Charles Helmstetter and Steve Cooper during a reception at a conference in 1987.
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Figure 3: Charles Helmstetter and Steve Cooper during a reception at a conference in 1987.

Mentions: The preceding was intended to describe some of the activities that went into our early contributions to research on specific aspects of the bacterial division cycle. It is not comprehensive and it only reflects our work and not those of numerous others whose studies during the same time frame all contributed to the accomplishments in this field in the late 1960s. In particular, the design of our experiments was made possible by the critical discoveries of Schaechter et al. (1958) on the relationship between cellular properties and culture conditions. Additionally, interpretation of our findings in rapidly growing cells was facilitated by the earlier report of multifork DNA replication in Bacillus subtilis (Yoshikawa et al., 1964). I will never know whether the work described here would have been performed, or interpreted correctly, absent these prior findings. Steve Cooper left Buffalo in 1970 for the University of Michigan, but we remained in touch for years, including at the occasional meeting (Figure 3). Several colleagues whose published work, private discussions and encouragement were of great help during this time have already been mentioned, but I also wish to especially acknowledge my long-term collaboration with Olga Pierucci, a number of valuable inputs from K. Gordon Lark, Arthur Pardee and Joe Clark, and the important insightful subsequent contributions of Alan C. Leonard.


A ten-year search for synchronous cells: obstacles, solutions, and practical applications.

Helmstetter CE - Front Microbiol (2015)

Charles Helmstetter and Steve Cooper during a reception at a conference in 1987.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4373376&req=5

Figure 3: Charles Helmstetter and Steve Cooper during a reception at a conference in 1987.
Mentions: The preceding was intended to describe some of the activities that went into our early contributions to research on specific aspects of the bacterial division cycle. It is not comprehensive and it only reflects our work and not those of numerous others whose studies during the same time frame all contributed to the accomplishments in this field in the late 1960s. In particular, the design of our experiments was made possible by the critical discoveries of Schaechter et al. (1958) on the relationship between cellular properties and culture conditions. Additionally, interpretation of our findings in rapidly growing cells was facilitated by the earlier report of multifork DNA replication in Bacillus subtilis (Yoshikawa et al., 1964). I will never know whether the work described here would have been performed, or interpreted correctly, absent these prior findings. Steve Cooper left Buffalo in 1970 for the University of Michigan, but we remained in touch for years, including at the occasional meeting (Figure 3). Several colleagues whose published work, private discussions and encouragement were of great help during this time have already been mentioned, but I also wish to especially acknowledge my long-term collaboration with Olga Pierucci, a number of valuable inputs from K. Gordon Lark, Arthur Pardee and Joe Clark, and the important insightful subsequent contributions of Alan C. Leonard.

Bottom Line: My effort to use synchronously dividing cultures to examine the Escherichia coli cell cycle involved a 10-year struggle with failure after failure punctuated by a few gratifying successes, especially at the end.In this essay, I recount my personal journey in this obsessive experimental pursuit.That narrative is followed by a description of a simplified version of the "baby machine," a technique that was developed to obtain minimally disturbed, synchronously growing E. coli cells.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL, USA.

ABSTRACT
My effort to use synchronously dividing cultures to examine the Escherichia coli cell cycle involved a 10-year struggle with failure after failure punctuated by a few gratifying successes, especially at the end. In this essay, I recount my personal journey in this obsessive experimental pursuit. That narrative is followed by a description of a simplified version of the "baby machine," a technique that was developed to obtain minimally disturbed, synchronously growing E. coli cells. Subsequent studies with this methodology led to an understanding of the basic properties of the relationship between chromosome replication and cell division. Accordingly, I end this reminiscence with a simple, fool-proof graphical strategy for deducing the pattern of chromosome replication during the division cycle of cells growing at any rate.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus