A total of nine mutants have now been isolated in All are defective in their spore germination properties, being blocked at an intermediate (phase grey) stage. The dormant spores are sensitive to heating at 90°C and two of the mutants (generated by transposon insertion) produce spores sensitive at 80°C. The spores of these two more extreme mutants had a visibly defective cortex when studied by electron microscopy, as did some of the other mutants. During sporulation, the acquisition of spore resistance properties and the appearance of the sporulation-specific penicillin-binding protein PBP5 were delayed. A strain probably carrying a fusion to the promoter demonstrated increased expression between and . We propose that the locus is involved in the control of one or more sporulation-specific genes.


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