Spore germination

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Dec;6(6):550-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2003.10.001.


The germination of dormant spores of Bacillus species is the first crucial step in the return of spores to vegetative growth, and is induced by nutrients and a variety of non-nutrient agents. Nutrient germinants bind to receptors in the spore's inner membrane and this interaction triggers the release of the spore core's huge depot of dipicolinic acid and cations, and replacement of these components by water. These latter events trigger the hydrolysis of the spore's peptidoglycan cortex by either of two redundant enzymes in B. subtilis, and completion of cortex hydrolysis and subsequent germ cell wall expansion allows full spore core hydration and resumption of spore metabolism and macromolecular synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus / growth & development*
  • Bacillus / physiology*
  • Spores, Bacterial / growth & development*
  • Spores, Bacterial / physiology*