Exploration of cell division times during bacterial cytokinesis
Filamenting temperature-sensitive mutant Z (FtsZ), an essential cell division protein in bacteria, has recently emerged as an important and exploitable antibacterial target. The perturbation of FtsZ assembly is found to have an effect on cell cytokinesis and cell survival. Cell division time is an important physical parameter in cell cytokinesis. Here, the theoretical framework that has been developed by combining a phase field model for rod-shaped cells with a kinetic description for FtsZ ring maintenance is extended to explore cell division times during bacterial cytokinesis. The cell division times of around 72 s in the numerical studies have the same magnitude as the division time of several minutes observed physiologically. The dependence of the cell division time on parameters such as the initial state of rod-shaped cells and various kinetic rates of FtsZ assembly dynamics is thoroughly investigated. The theoretical analysis of the relations between the cell division time and these parameters is found to coincide well with the numerical calculated results.