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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Jan;4(1):137-41.

Pulling the trigger: the mechanism of bacterial spore germination.

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Department of Botany, University of Cambridge, UK.


In spite of displaying the most extreme dormancy and resistance properties known among living systems, bacterial endospores retain an alert environment-sensing mechanism that can respond within seconds to the presence of specific germinants. This germination response is triggered in the absence of both germinant and germinant-stimulated metabolism. Genes coding for components of the sensing mechanism in spores of Bacillus subtilis have been cloned and sequenced. However, the molecular mechanism whereby these receptors interact with germinants to initiate the germination response is unknown. Recent evidence has suggested that in spores of Bacillus megaterium KM, proteolytic activation of an autolytic enzyme constitutes part of the germination trigger reaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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