Affordable Access

Initiation of Bacillus spore germination by hydrostatic pressure: effect of temperature.

  • W G Murrell
  • P A Wills
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1977
  • Biology
  • Physics


Suspensions of Bacillus cereus T, B. subtilis, and B. pumilus spores in water or potassium phosphate buffer were germinated by hydrostatic pressures of between 325 and 975 atm. Kinetics of germination at temperatures within the range of 25 to 44 degrees C were determined, and thermodynamic parameters were calculated. The optimum temperature for germination was dependent on pressure, species, suspending medium, and storage time after heat activation. Germination rates increased significantly with small increments of pressure, as indicated by high negative deltaV values of -230 +/- 5 cm3/mol for buffered B. subtilis (500 to 700 atm) and B. pumilus (500 atm) spores and -254 +/- 18 cm3/mol for aqueous B. subtilis (400 to 550 atm) spores at 40 degrees C and -612 +/- 41 cm3/mol for B. cereus (500 to 700 atm) spores at 25 degrees C. The ranges of thermodynamic constants calculated at 40 degrees C for buffered B. pumilus and B. subtilis spores at 500 and 600 atm and for aqueous B. subtilis spores at 500 atm were: Ea = 181,000 to 267,000 J/mol; deltaH = 178,000 to 264,000 J/mol; deltaG = 94,000 to 98,300 J/mol; deltaS = 264 to 544 J/mol per degree K. These values are consistent with the concept that the transformation of a dormant to a germinating spore induced by hydrostatic pressure involves either hydration or a reduction in the visocosity of the spore core and a conformational change of an enzyme.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times