Summary: Thick suspensions of spores of did not germinate completely in nutrient media because the first spores to germinate released a substance which inhibited germination of the remainder. The inhibitory substance was identified as d-alanine by chromatography, high voltage electrophoresis, and its destruction by d-amino acid oxidase. When C-l-alanine was used to induce germination of spores, the resulting inhibitory d-alanine was C-labelled with the same specific activity as the C-l-alanine used. Auto-inhibition of spore germination is therefore due to racemization of exogenous l-alanine, which forms sufficient d-alanine to arrest the germination process in thick suspensions of spores.


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