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Life 2012, 2(4), 286-312; doi:10.3390/life2040286

Chromosome Replication in Escherichia coli: Life on the Scales

1,*  and 2
1 Theoretical Biology Unit, EA 3829, Department of Biology, University of Rouen, 76821, Mont Saint Aignan, France 2 Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, Université Paris-Sud, and INRIA Saclay – Ile de France, AMIB Project, Orsay, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 September 2012 / Revised: 1 October 2012 / Accepted: 15 October 2012 / Published: 29 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Life Sciences)
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At all levels of Life, systems evolve on the 'scales of equilibria'. At the level of bacteria, the individual cell must favor one of two opposing strategies and either take risks to grow or avoid risks to survive. It has been proposed in the Dualism hypothesis that the growth and survival strategies depend on non-equilibrium and equilibrium hyperstructures, respectively. It has been further proposed that the cell cycle itself is the way cells manage to balance the ratios of these types of hyperstructure so as to achieve the compromise solution of living on the two scales. Here, we attempt to re-interpret a major event, the initiation of chromosome replication in Escherichia coli, in the light of scales of equilibria. This entails thinking in terms of hyperstructures as responsible for intensity sensing and quantity sensing and how this sensing might help explain the role of the DnaA protein in initiation of replication. We outline experiments and an automaton approach to the cell cycle that should test and refine the scales concept.
Keywords: DNA replication; cell division; growth rate control; ion condensation; water; evolution DNA replication; cell division; growth rate control; ion condensation; water; evolution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Norris, V.; Amar, P. Chromosome Replication in Escherichia coli: Life on the Scales. Life 2012, 2, 286-312.

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