Water vapor, aqueous ethyl alcohol, and heat activation of Bacillus megaterium spore germination.

Journal of Bacteriology (Impact Factor: 2.69). 07/1968; 95(6):2090-101.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dormant spores of Bacillus megaterium were activated for germination on glucose by heating them in aqueous suspension (but not if heated dry), by treating them with aqueous ethyl alcohol at 30 C, or by exposing them to water vapor at room temperature. The degree of water vapor activation depended upon the relative humidity, the time, and the temperature of exposure. Activation increased the extent and rate of glucose-induced germination and decreased the average microlag. Extended water vapor treatment also activated spores for germination induced by KI and by l-alanine. Spores activated by any of the three treatments were deactivated by treatment at 66 C, either for 18 hr in 100% ethyl alcohol or for 40 hr over P(2)O(5). Deactivated spores were reactivated by heat, by 5 m ethyl alcohol, or by water vapor. It is postulated that heating and ethyl alcohol may change the structure of liquid water, so that it is more like water vapor and can more readily penetrate to and hydrate a critical (enzymatic?) spore site, leading to activation.



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