SUMMARY: Germination of heat-activated spores of was rapidly induced by treatment with calcium dipicolinate; 90% of the spores lost their refractility within 20 min at 37°C. The sequence of ultrastructural changes during germination and subsequent outgrowth in a nutrient medium, was followed by electron microscopy. Dissolution of the spore cortex was accompanied by escape of cortical material via numerous perforations in the spore coat. The spore core underwent pre-emergent swelling to fill the space vacated by the cortical material, and eventual rupture of the spore coat led to emergence of the germling cell which invariably occurred via the open base of the exosporium. Thus, specimens of residual spore ‘husks’, prepared by the critical point drying procedure, consisted of intact exosporia enclosing surprisingly large fragments of the original spore coats.


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