The structure and function of ribosomes from spores and vegetative mycelium of were compared. Differences were observed in the sedimentation coefficient of ribosomes from spores (56·86S) and vegetative mycelium (69·77S). Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography of ribosomal proteins of the 30S and 50S subunits revealed differences which included several polypeptides present in the vegetative ribosomes but absent from spore ribosomes. The latter were also defective in their ability to promote polyphenylalanine synthesis, the functional activity of both ribosomal subunits being affected. The soluble fraction of spores also showed decreased protein-synthesizing activity, compared to that of the vegetative mycelium. Recovery of normal ribosomal subunits and soluble fraction activity occurred early in the germination process, reaching activity values approaching those of the vegetative state during initiation of germination. It is suggested that regulation of cellular metabolism at the level of translation may be involved in the establishment of spore dormancy.


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