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Appl Microbiol. 1972 Dec;24(6):878-84.

Thermal injury and recovery of Bacillus subtilis.


Exposure of Bacillus subtilis NCTC 8236 to sublethal temperatures produced a change in the sensitivity of the organism to salt and polymyxin. After 30 min at 47 C, 90% of the population was unable to grow on a modified sulfite polymyxin sulfadiazine agar containing an added 1% NaCl, 1% glucose, and 1% asparagine. The data presented demonstrate that thermal injury results in degradation of both 16S and 23S ribonucleic acid (RNA) and in damage to the cell membrane, suggested by leakage into the heating mestruum of material absorbing at 260 nm. When the cells were placed in a recovery medium (Trypticase soy broth), complete recovery, indicated by a returned tolerance to salt and polymyxin, occurred within 2 hr. The presence of a protein inhibitor (chloramphenicol) and cell wall inhibitors (vancomycin and penicillin) during recovery had no effect, whereas the presence of an RNA inhibitor (actinomycin D) effectively inhibited recovery. Further data demonstrated that the injured cells were able to resynthesize both species of ribosomal RNA during recovery by using the fragments which resulted from the injury process. Also, precursor 16S and precursor 23S particles accumulated during recovery. The maturation of the precursor particles during recovery was not affected by the presence of chloramphenicol in the recovery medium.

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