The physiological effects of restrictive environmental conditions on Dictyostelium discoideum spore germination


Spores may be reversibly activated by the application of heat, dimethyl sulfoxide, urea, or ethylene glucol. Severe changes in four environmental variables (high osmotic pressure, low oxygen tension, low or high pH, and low or high temperature) interfere with the germination process. Spores at the end of the postactivation lag phase of germination were usually deactivated if exposed to severe environmental conditions and thus did not swell; spores in the swelling and emergence stages of germination were killed if exposed to severe environmental conditions. The oxygen uptake which began during spore activation was primarily attributable to a cyanide-sensitive pathway and secondarily to a salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM) sensitive pathway. Inhibition of the SHAM-sensitive pathway did not cause spore deactivation while the addition of cyanide resulted in rapid spore deactivation. Treatment of activated spores with azide or environmental shifts also resulted in inhibition of oxygen uptake and spore deactivation. Deactivating spores did not demonstrate the amino acid incorporation, uridine incorporation, and expression of trehalase activity which is found in the later stages of germinating control spores. Protein synthesis inhibitors did not cause spore deactivation or a decrease in oxygen uptake but they inhibited amino acid incorporation and the expression of trehalase activity in swollen spores. It is concluded that control of respiratory activity is involved in regulation of reversible activation.


Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

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Canadian Journal of Microbiology


NRC Research Press (Canadian Science Publishing)

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© 1979, NRC Research Press or its licensors