Simulation of the Prokaryotic Cell Cycle at http://simon.bio.uva.nl/cellcycle/
Arieh Zaritsky, Conrad L. Woldringh, Norbert O. E. Vischer, Ping Wang, Charles E. Helmstetter
The bacterial Cell Cycle is presented using the Simulation program CCSim, which employs four parameters related to time (inter-division , replication C, division D) and size (mass at replication initiation Mi), sufficient to describe and compare bacterial cells under various conditions. The parameter values can be altered and the effects of the alterations can be seen. CCSim is easy to use and presents the kinetics of cell growth in a digestible format. Replicating chromosomes and growing bacillary cells are coupled to parameters that affect the cell cycle and animated. It serves as an educational tool to teach bacteriology and to compare experimental observations with the model best describing cell growth thus improve our understanding of regulatory mechanisms. Examples are displayed of transitions between known physiological states that are consistent with experimental results, including one that explains strange observations. The program predicts enhanced division frequencies after a period of slow replication under thymine limitation if a minimal distance (Eclipse) exists between successive replisomes, as observed. Missing features and ways to improve, extend and refine CCSim are proposed, for both single cells and random populations under steady-states of exponential growth and during well-defined transitions. Future improvements and extensions are proposed for single cells and populations.