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Aging and Death in an Organism That Reproduces by Morphologically Symmetric Division

Figure 1

The Life Cycle of E. coli

During cell division, two new poles are formed, one in each of the progeny cells (new poles, shown in blue). The other ends of those cells were formed during a previous division (old poles, shown in red).

(A) The number of divisions since each pole was formed is indicated by the number inside the pole. Using the number of divisions since the older pole of each cell was formed, it is possible to assign an age in divisions to that cell, as indicated. Similarly, cells that consecutively divided as a new pole are assigned a new pole age, based on the current, consecutive divisions as a new pole cell.

(B) Time-lapse images of growing cells corresponding to the stages in (A). False color has been added to identify the poles.

Figure 1