The germination of bacterial endospores involves the following structural and physiological events: binding of nutrients to specific receptors located in the spore, the release of cations and calcium dipicolinate (CaDPA) from the core, degradation of the spore cortex, and the breakdown of small acid soluble proteins (SASP) protecting the DNA in the core. This minireview focuses specifically on the action of germination-specific lytic enzymes (GSLE) and the role of calcium ions in the degradation and collapse of the spore cortex. Several key questions for future research are discussed.
- dipicolinic acid
- endospore germination
- germination specific lytic enzymes