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Heat killing of bacterial spores analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry



Heat killing of bacterial spores analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry



Journal of Bacteriology 174(13): 4463-4474



Thermograms of the exosporium-lacking dormant spores of Bacillus megaterium ATCC 33729, obtained by differential scanning calorimetry, showed three major irreversible endothermic transitions with peaks at 56, 100, and 114 degrees C and a major irreversible exothermic transition with a peak at 119 degrees C. The 114 degrees C transition was identified with coat proteins, and the 56 degrees C transition was identified with heat inactivation. Thermograms of the germinated spores and vegetative cells were much alike, including an endothermic transition attributable to DNA. The ascending part of the main endothermic 100 degrees C transition in the dormant-spore thermograms corresponded to a first-order reaction and was correlated with spore death; i.e., greater than 99.9% of the spores were killed when the transition peak was reached. The maximum death rate of the dormant spores during calorimetry, calculated from separately measured D and z values, occurred at temperatures above the 73 degrees C onset of thermal denaturation and was equivalent to the maximum inactivation rate calculated for the critical target. Most of the spore killing occurred before the release of most of the dipicolinic acid and other intraprotoplast materials. The exothermic 119 degrees C transition was a consequence of the endothermic 100 degrees C transition and probably represented the aggregation of intraprotoplast spore components. Taken together with prior evidence, the results suggest that a crucial protein is the rate-limiting primary target in the heat killing of dormant bacterial spores.

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Accession: 007390590

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PMID: 1624439



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