In vitro high-resolution structural dynamics of single germinating bacterial spores

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Although significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genetic and biochemical bases of the spore germination process, the structural basis for breaking the dormant spore state remains poorly understood. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe the high-resolution structural dynamics of single Bacillus atrophaeus spores germinating under native conditions. Here we show that AFM can reveal previously unrecognized germination-induced alterations in spore coat architecture and topology as well as the disassembly of outer spore coat rodlet structures. These results and previous studies in other microorganisms suggest that the spore coat rodlets are structurally similar to amyloid fibrils. ... continued below

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Plomp, M; Leighton, T; Wheeler, K & Malkin, A November 14, 2006.

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Although significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genetic and biochemical bases of the spore germination process, the structural basis for breaking the dormant spore state remains poorly understood. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe the high-resolution structural dynamics of single Bacillus atrophaeus spores germinating under native conditions. Here we show that AFM can reveal previously unrecognized germination-induced alterations in spore coat architecture and topology as well as the disassembly of outer spore coat rodlet structures. These results and previous studies in other microorganisms suggest that the spore coat rodlets are structurally similar to amyloid fibrils. AFM analysis of the nascent surface of the emerging germ cell revealed a porous network of peptidoglycan fibers. The results are consistent with a honeycomb model structure for synthetic peptidoglycan oligomers determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. AFM is a promising experimental tool for investigating the morphogenesis of spore germination and cell wall peptidoglycan structure.

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PDF-file: 22 pages; size: 0.2 Mbytes

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  • Journal Name: Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 104, no. 23, June 5, 2007, pp. 9644-9649; Journal Volume: 104; Journal Issue: 23

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-226163
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919603
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc894691

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  • November 14, 2006

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 2:53 p.m.

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Plomp, M; Leighton, T; Wheeler, K & Malkin, A. In vitro high-resolution structural dynamics of single germinating bacterial spores, article, November 14, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894691/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.