Morphological aspects of the outgrowth of strain w23 from heat-activated spores were examined by scanning electron microscopy. After 60 min incubation at 37 °C on agar medium, cracks appeared on the spore shells at their equatorial position and vegetative bacteria emerged by breaking open the cracks. In the following 180 min, the bacteria continued to grow without cell separation or the formation of flagella, so that, at 240 min, long filamentous forms of the vegetative bacteria were seen. Cell separation occurred at 300 min and simultaneously the development of flagella was observed. In liquid medium, the vegetative bacteria showed cell separation at an earlier stage (120 min) of outgrowth and flagella were visible at this stage. These results suggested that cell separation and flagella formation were closely related events. The role of autolytic enzymes in cell separation and flagella formation in relation to spore outgrowth is discussed.


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