Kinetics of DNA replication in bacteria with heterogeneous generation times

Samuel Litwin, Neville R. Kallenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kinetics of DNA synthesis in bacteria which exhibit dispersion in the generation times of individual cells are calculated for a model in which each cell synthesizes DNA during its entire life-cycle. These kinetics are expressed as the amounts of DNA in each of three categories as a function of time. The categories represent original material, synthesized before a hypothetical transfer to medium in which newly synthesized DNA can be identified; hybrid material, representing the first stage of semiconservative replication, and fully new material, in which neither strand contains original material. The problem is solved by computer simulation of a cell population in exponential growth, with generation times distributed to produce varying amounts of heterogeneity. In addition we calculate the time course of emergence of transforming markers into hybrid and new DNA when a culture with all chromosomes initially aligned at the origin of replication is permitted to replicate in new medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-376
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1970

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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