PMID: 16346805Jun 1, 1985

Mechanism of the Heat Sensitization of Bacillus subtilis Spores by Ethidium Bromide

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
J H Hanlin, R A Slepecky


Pretreatment with ethidium bromide (5 mug/ml) followed by a water wash had no effect on unheated Bacillus subtilis spores, but the viability of these spores after heating was much lower than that of similarly heated spores exposed to water alone. The fate of water- or ethidium bromide-treated spores, unheated or heated, was followed by allowing them to germinate and outgrow in a minimal or a complex liquid medium. Spores exposed to ethidium bromide and then heated (85 degrees C, 10 min) exhibited a developmental block during germination and outgrowth. Many of them were blocked at the stage when the bacterium emerged from the germinated spore. When 0.35 mug of ethidium bromide per ml was added to heated spores in the germination-growth medium, the outgrowth of heated spores was inhibited to the same extent as were pretreated spores. Ethidium bromide acted in the first hour of germination of heated spores since addition after this time was ineffective in inhibiting recovery events. Repair of heat-damaged spore DNA was detected during the first 2 h of germination. The addition of ethidium bromide (final concentration, 0.35 mug/ml) inhibited DNA repair during early outgrowth. Increased sensitivity of spores to heat after pretreatme...Continue Reading

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