SUMMARY: When washed sporulating cells of were incubated in buffer at 37°G in the presence of toluene, a partial autolysis occurred resulting in the freeing of mature and immature spores. The autolysate contained lytie enzymes which attacked vegetative cells and cell-wall preparations, releasing hexosaminecontaining peptides of characteristic constitution. The most active enzyme preparations were obtained from sporulating cells incubated for 1-2 hr. in buffer at pH 5-0-6-0. Two water-soluble lytic systems, enzyme V and enzyme S with pH optima near 4-5 and 8-0 respectively, were separated from the autolysate. Enzyme S is probably identical with the lytic system present in spores of and other species and further observations on this system are described. When non-sporulating cells of were incubated under similar conditions no obvious lysis or sporulation occurred and no cell-wall lytic activity could be demonstrated. In growing cultures of considerable amounts of hexosamine-containing peptides were released into the medium during the period between the appearance of intracellular spores and free spores. It is suggested that enzyme V may be mainly concerned with the release of free spores from sporangia and enzyme S with the lytic processes which accompany spore germination.


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