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High salinity alters the germination behavior of Bacillus subtilis spores with nutrient and non-nutrient germinants

Nagler, Katja and Setlow, Peter and Li, Yong-Qing and Moeller, Ralf (2013) High salinity alters the germination behavior of Bacillus subtilis spores with nutrient and non-nutrient germinants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 80 (4), pp. 1314-1321. American Society for Microbiology. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.03293-13 ISSN 0099-2240

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Abstract

The effect of high NaCl concentrations on nutrient and non-nutrient germination of Bacillus subtilis spores was systematically investigated. Under all conditions, increasing NaCl concentrations caused increasing albeit reversible inhibition of germination. High salinity delayed and increased the heterogeneity of germination initiation, slowed the germination kinetics of individual spores and the whole spore population, and decreased the overall germination efficiency, as observed by variety of different analytical techniques. Germination triggered by nutrients which interact with different germinant receptors (GRs) was affected differently by NaCl, suggesting that GRs are possible targets of NaCl inhibition. However, NaCl also inhibited GR-independent germination, suggesting that there is at least one additional target for NaCl inhibition. Strikingly, a portion of the spore population could initiate germination with L-alanine even at NaCl concentrations near saturation (∼ 5.4 M), suggesting that spores lack a salt-sensing system preventing them from germinating in a hostile high-salinity environment. Spores that initiated germination at very high NaCl concentrations excreted their large depot of Ca²⁺-DPA and lost their heat resistance, but remained in a phase-grey state in the phase-contrast microscope, suggesting that there was incomplete germination. However, some metabolic activity could be detected at up to 4.8 M NaCl. Overall, high salinity seems to exert complex effects on spore germination and outgrowth, whose detailed elucidation in future investigations could give valuable insights on these processes in general.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/86896/
Document Type:Article
Title:High salinity alters the germination behavior of Bacillus subtilis spores with nutrient and non-nutrient germinants
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Nagler, KatjaGerman Aerospace Center, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Department, Cologne (Köln), GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Setlow, PeterDepartment of Molecular, Microbial and Structural Biology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut, 06030-3305, USAUNSPECIFIED
Li, Yong-QingDepartment of Physics, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, 27858-4353, USAUNSPECIFIED
Moeller, RalfGerman Aerospace Center, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation Biology Department, Cologne (Köln), Germany, ralf.moeller (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:2013
Journal or Publication Title:Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:80
DOI :10.1128/AEM.03293-13
Page Range:pp. 1314-1321
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0099-2240
Status:Published
Keywords:Bacillus subtilis spores, germination behavior, high salinity
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology
Deposited By: Kopp, Kerstin
Deposited On:18 Dec 2013 11:35
Last Modified:04 Feb 2014 10:47

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