SUMMARY: A theoretical treatment of growth and sporulation of Marburg strain 168 in continuous culture is given. Sporulation is considered as a probability event, and a specific rate constant for its initiation in vegetative cells is introduced. The processes of growth and sporulation have been assumed to compete with each other in the vegetative organism. Equations are given which allow calculation of the rate constants characterizing growth and sporulation in steady-state continuous-flow systems. The relationship between the specific rate of initiation of sporulation and the growth rate of vegetative cells was determined with glucose-limited cultures and was approximately linear; the spore initiation rate increased with decreasing growth rate. This result was used to obtain equations relating the incidence of refractile spores to the dilution rate of a continuous culture maintained in a steady state. A number of possible models of the process of spore initiation have been considered; two were consistent with the linear relationship between spore initiation rate and growth rate determined by experiment.


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