Main content area

Properties of Bacillus anthracis spores prepared under various environmental conditions

Baweja, Renu B., Zaman, Mohd S., Mattoo, Abid R., Sharma, Kirti, Tripathi, Vishwas, Aggarwal, Anita, Dubey, Gyanendra P., Kurupati, Raj K., Ganguli, Munia, Chaudhury, N. K., Sen, Somdutta, Das, Taposh K., Gade, Wasudev N., Singh, Yogendra
Archives of microbiology 2008 v.189 no.1 pp. 71-79
Bacillus anthracis, environmental factors, germination, heat, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen peroxide, nutrient availability, pH, sodium hydroxide, spores, sporulation, temperature
Bacillus anthracis makes highly stable, heat-resistant spores which remain viable for decades. Effect of various stress conditions on sporulation in B. anthracis was studied in nutrient-deprived and sporulation medium adjusted to various pH and temperatures. The results revealed that sporulation efficiency was dependent on conditions prevailing during sporulation. Sporulation occurred earlier in culture sporulating at alkaline pH or in PBS than control. Spores formed in PBS were highly sensitive towards spore denaturants whereas, those formed at 45°C were highly resistant. The decimal reduction time (D-10 time) of the spores formed at 45°C by wet heat, 2 M HCl, 2 M NaOH and 2 M H₂O₂ was higher than the respective D-10 time for the spores formed in PBS. The dipicolinic acid (DPA) content and germination efficiency was highest in spores formed at 45°C. Since DPA is related to spore sensitivity towards heat and chemicals, the increased DPA content of spores prepared at 45°C may be responsible for increased resistance to wet heat and other denaturants. The size of spores formed at 45°C was smallest amongst all. The study reveals that temperature, pH and nutrient availability during sporulation affect properties of B. anthracis spores.