Germination and physiological properties of Frankia spores


Spores from four Frankia strains were isolated and purified to homogeneity. The purified spores were biochemically and physiologically characterized and compared to vegetative cells. Frankia spores exhibited low levels of endogenous respiration that were at least ten-fold lower than the endogenous respiration rate of vegetative cells. The macromolecular content of purified spores and vegetative cells differed. One striking difference among the Frankia spores was their total DNA content. From DAPI staining experiments, only 9% of strain ACN1AG spore population contained DNA. With strains DC12 and EuI1c, 92% and 67% of their spore population contained DNA. The efficiency of spore germination was correlated to the percentage of the spore population containing DNA. These results suggest that the majority of strain ACN1AG spores were immature or nonviable. The presence of a solidifying agent inhibited the initial stages of spore germination, but had no effect once the process had been initiated. The optimal incubation temperature for spore germination was 25°C and 30°C for strains DC12 and EuI1c, respectively. A mild heat shock increased the efficiency of spore germination, while root extracts also stimulated spore germination. These results suggest that strains DC12 and EuI1c may be suitable strains for further germination and genetic studies.

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Plant and Soil



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