F1000Research 2018, 7(F1000 Faculty Rev):241
Cell shape and cell volume are important for many bacterial functions. In recent years, we have seen a range of experimental and theoretical work that led to a better understanding of the determinants of cell shape and size. The roles of different molecular machineries for cell-wall expansion have been detailed and partially redefined, mechanical forces have been shown to influence cell shape, and new connections between metabolism and cell shape have been proposed. Yet the fundamental determinants of the different cellular dimensions remain to be identified. Here, we highlight some of the recent developments and focus on the determinants of rod-like cell shape and size in the well-studied model organisms Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis.