Chapter 11 : Spore Germination

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The specialized structure that maintains the dormancy and resistance properties of endospores provides an opportunity for wide dispersal of spores in the environment, and for survival over long periods under conditions unfavorable for growth. Although dormant and uniquely resistant to environmental insult ( ), a spore remains sensitive to changes in its environment. Specific germinants are detected by receptors in the spore inner membrane; this signal is then transduced by mechanisms that are not understood in detail, but result in the activation of proteins that variously allow movement of small molecules across the membrane and deconstruct protective layers, restoring normal hydration and active metabolism ( ).

Citation: Moir A, Cooper G. 2016. Spore Germination, p 217-236. In Driks A, Eichenberger P (ed), The Bacterial Spore: from Molecules to Systems. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0014-2012
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Figure 1

Dormant spore, showing dehydrated core, electron transparent cortex, and extensive coat. Germinated spore, showing rehydrated core and part-degraded cortex and coat layers.

Citation: Moir A, Cooper G. 2016. Spore Germination, p 217-236. In Driks A, Eichenberger P (ed), The Bacterial Spore: from Molecules to Systems. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0014-2012
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Figure 2

Cartoon model representing events during germination.

Citation: Moir A, Cooper G. 2016. Spore Germination, p 217-236. In Driks A, Eichenberger P (ed), The Bacterial Spore: from Molecules to Systems. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0014-2012
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Figure 3

Possible topology of germinant receptor subunits, on the basis of GFP fusion constructs in . Reproduced with permission from reference . Open stars, surface-exposed locations; closed stars, intracellular locations. GerHA, not showing the complete N-terminal region Underlined residues represent predicted membrane spans that were not confirmed by fusion data. GerHB.

Citation: Moir A, Cooper G. 2016. Spore Germination, p 217-236. In Driks A, Eichenberger P (ed), The Bacterial Spore: from Molecules to Systems. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.TBS-0014-2012
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