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The principles of cellular geometry scaling

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cell Biology
Accepted/In press17 Aug 2020


King's Authors


Cellular dimensions profoundly influence cellular physiology. For unicellular organisms, this has direct bearing on their ecology and evolution. The morphology of a cell is governed by scaling rules. As it grows, the ratio of its surface area to volume is expected to decrease. Similarly, if environmental conditions force proliferating cells to settle on different size optima, cells of the same type may exhibit size-dependent variation in cellular processes. In fungi, algae and plants where cells are surrounded by a rigid wall, division at smaller size often produces immediate changes in geometry, decreasing cell fitness. Here we discuss how cells interpret their size, buffer against changes in shape and, if necessary, scale their polarity to maintain optimal shape at different cell volumes.

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