Cell length growth in fission yeast: An analysis of its bilinear character and the nature of its rate change transition

Anna Horváth, Anna Rácz-Mónus, Peter Buchwald, Ákos Sveiczer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


During their mitotic cycle, cylindrical fission yeast cells grow exclusively at their tips. Length growth starts at birth and halts at mitotic onset when the cells begin to prepare for division. While the growth pattern was initially considered to be exponential, during the last three decades an increasing amount of evidence indicated that it is rather a bilinear function [two linear segments separated by a rate change point (RCP)]. The main focus of this work was to clarify this and to elucidate the further question of whether the rate change occurs abruptly at the RCP or more smoothly during a transition period around it. We have analyzed the individual growth patterns obtained by time-lapse microscopy of 60 wild-type cells separately as well as that of the 'average' cell generated from their superposition. Linear, exponential, and bilinear functions were fitted to the data, and their suitability was compared using objective model selection criteria. This analysis found the overwhelming majority of the cells (70%) to have a bilinear growth pattern with close to half of them showing a smooth and not an abrupt transition. The growth pattern of the average cell was also found to be bilinear with a smooth transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-649
Number of pages15
JournalFEMS Yeast Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013



  • Bilinear function
  • Cell growth pattern
  • Fission yeast
  • Model fitting
  • Time-lapse microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Microbiology

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