Washed vegetative cells of various species of aerobic spore-forming bacteria sporulate abundantly when shaken in distilled water in air. The spores thus formed possess the same heat resistance as spores formed in a complete growth medium. Various factors influencing sporogenesis in water are described. Glucose in low concentration completely suppresses sporogenesis under these conditions and the suppression is relieved by the presence of ammonia as an exogenous source of nitrogen. Various amino acid and purine antimetabolite analogues inhibit sporogenesis and their inhibitory effects are completely reversed by much smaller amounts of the corresponding metabolites. Sporogenesis is thus regarded as a de novo synthesis of spore proteins from preexisting endogenous (enzyme) proteins. Cells low in protein fail to sporulate and the capacity of the cell to adaptively attack maltose and trehalose is strongly interfered with after the cell is irreversibly committed to sporulation, but not before that. Evidence is advanced supporting the hypothesis that sporogenesis is an endogenous process which commences when the supply of exogenous energy and carbon is depleted. It utilizes low molecular weight nitrogenous substances liberated by the degradation of preexisting enzyme proteins of the vegetative cell. Sporogenesis and adaptive enzyme formation are regarded as competitive synthetic processes, both utilizing endogenous enzyme proteins. The events of sporogenesis suggest that this process may be an adaptive protein synthesis, analogous to adaptive enzyme synthesis.

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