Growth, sporulation and spore properties of bacillus stearothemophilus produced in chemically defined media

  • Yew H. Lee

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The nutritional requirements for the vegetative growth of B. stearothermophilus strains NCIB 8919, NCTC lO,OO3 (wild) were found to be DL-methionine, biotin, nicotinic acid, thiamin, glucose and mineral salts. Strains NCIB 8920 required in addition L-tryptophan. B. stearothermophilus NCTC lO,OO3 (mutant) grew in a medium containing only glucose and mineral salts.
Separate chemically defined media for the growth of Bacillus stearothermophilus strains NCIB 8919, 8920, NCTC lO,OO3 (wild) and NCTC lO,OO3 (mutant) were developed.
Optimally aerated culture of B. stearothermonhilus NCTC lO,OO3(mutant) required 1.0 x 10-4 M. Mn2+ and 2.4 x 10-3 M. glutamic acid for optimal sporulation. Specific nutrient depletion of growth affected percentage sporulation.
Spore suspensions of B. stearothermophilus NCTC 10,003 (mutant) were prepared from media in which sulphate (SO4-), nitrogen (N-),phosphate (Po4-), carbon (C-), magnesium-carbon simultaneously (Ng-C-) depleted growth. The heat resistance, dormancy and chemistry of these spores varied considerably.
B. stearothermophilus NCTC 10,003 10,00310,00(mutant) spores prepared from carbon depleted cultures containing high and low concentrations of calcium, iron or manganese showed variations in heat resistance,dormancy and chemical composition.
Progressive increase in the concentration of medium calciumfrom 1.0 X 10-5  M to 1.4 X 10-4 M. progressively increased theheat resistance of B. stearothermophilus NCTC 10,003 (mutant) spores prepared from nitrogen depleted cultures (N-). The thermodynamic functions for germination rate, magnesium and manganese release of N- and SO4- spores were within the range expected of enzymic reactions. The thermodynamic functions for the breaking of dormancy in SO4- spores and that for the release of D.P.A. were identical.
Sublethal heating of SO4- spores (96.5°C and below) induced dormancy in these spores, whereas heating above 96.5°C gave rise to heat activation.
Pooled results of the chemical analyses of all spore types studied showed that the concentration of D.P.A. and calcium were positively related to heat resistance whereas magnesium concentration and Mg/Ca molar ratio were inversely proportional to heat resistance.
Date of AwardNov 1976
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMichael R W Brown (Supervisor)


  • Growth
  • sporulation
  • spore properties
  • bacillus stearothemophilus
  • chemically defined media

Cite this