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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 Mar;59(3):403-9.

Spore germination.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. a.moir@sheffield.ac.uk


Despite being relatively insensitive to environmental insult, the spore is responsive to low concentrations of chemical germinants, which induce germination. The process of bacterial spore germination involves membrane permeability changes, ion fluxes and the activation of enzymes that degrade the outer layers of the spore. A number of components in the spore that are required for the germination response have been identified, including a spore-specific family of receptor proteins (the GerA family), an ion transporter and cortex lytic enzymes. The germinant traverses the outer layers of the spore and interacts with its receptor in the inner membrane to initiate the cascade of germination events, but the molecular details of this signal transduction process remain to be identified.

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