MOTIVATION: Cell sizes and shapes are a fundamental defining characteristic of all cellular life. In bacteria like E. coli, the machinery that determines cell length is complex and interconnected, spanning extracellular cues, biosynthesis and cell division. Few tools exist to study cell lengths in a population. We have developed and tested three automated image analysis routines on growing E. coli cultures to simultaneously measure cell lengths and nucleoid numbers in populations of bacteria. We find population profiles changing with culture density- higher density of culture leads to fewer long cells. Additionally, lab strains mutant for recA show a correlation between the number of nucleoids and cell length.
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