SUMMARY: The effect of hydrogen peroxide on the germination, colony formation and structure of spores of was examined. Treatment with 0·35 -hydrogen peroxide increased the germination rate at 25° but increasing the temperature or concentration of hydrogen peroxide decreased both the germination rate and colony formation. The presence of Cu increased the lethal effect of hydrogen peroxide on colony formation as much as 3000-fold. Pre-incubation of spores with Cu before treatment with hydrogen peroxide produced a similar increase, but this could be eliminated by washing the spores with dilute acid or ethylenediamine tetraacetate. Hydrogen peroxide removed protein from spores—apparently from the coat—and treatment with dithiothreitol, which also removes spore-coat protein, increased the lethal effect of hydrogen peroxide 500-fold, suggesting that spore-coat protein has a protective effect against hydrogen peroxide.


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