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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A computationally efficient method for solving Min system reaction-diffusion equations within growing and dividing domains that approximate a rod-shaped bacterium Carlquist, William Christopher


Few biological systems, showing complex pattern formation that spans multiple spatial and temporal scales, have been reduced in understanding to several components. The Min system in Escherichia coli, consists of three proteins, MinD, MinE, and MinC. Through ordered, cyclic, membrane binding and unbinding, facilitated by ATP hydrolysis, the Min system regulates the site of cell division in vivo. The Min system is tightly coupled with cell growth and division. Various mathematical models have been proposed to describe specific biological phenomena, arising from the Min system, but no model has been tested in a biologically relevant space, which grows and divides. In this thesis, I develop a computationally efficient method for solving reaction-diffusion equations, in a growing and dividing geometry, which approximates growth and division in a rod-shaped bacterium.

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