Bacillus megaterium spore germination is influenced by inoculum size

M. L. Caipo, S. Duffy, L. Zhao, D. W. Schaffner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Aims: The effect of spore density on the germination (time-to-germination, percent germination) of Bacillus megaterium spores on tryptic soy agar was determined using direct microscopic observation. Methods and Results: Inoculum size varied from approximately 103 to 108 cfu ml-1 in a medium where pH = 7 and the sodium chloride concentration was 0.5% w/v. Inoculum size was measured by global inoculum size (the concentration of spores on a microscope slide) and local inoculum size (the number of spores observed in a given microscope field of observation). Both global and local inoculum sizes had a significant effect on time-to-germination (TTG), but only the global inoculum size influenced the percentage germination of the observed spores. Conclusions: These results show that higher concentrations of Bacillus megaterium spores encourage more rapid germination and more spores to germinate, indicating that low spore populations do not behave similarly to high spore populations. Significance and Impact of the Study: A likely explanation for the inoculum size-dependency of germination would be chemical signalling or quorum sensing between Bacillus spores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-884
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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