1. There are certainly two, and probably three, stages in the development of B. megaterium from the spore to inception of cell division. The rapid increase in rate of respiration during the initial 10 minutes on glucose-peptone-yeast extract medium coincides with decrease in optical density and with increase in stainability. From about 10 to 100 minutes, the rate increases linearly, coinciding with swelling of the spores and ending at approximately the time of rupture of the spore case. From about 100 to 180 minutes, there is a second and steeper linear increase in respiration rate coinciding with cell elongation. These physiological and morphological phenomena are discussed as criteria for germination.
2. The rate of respiration of M. verrucaria spores also increases linearly up to about 300 minutes in sucrose-yeast extract medium. No breaks in the curves are observed during formation of the germ tubes.
3. Oxygen uptake follows the parabolic curve
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within the limits of experimental error for both types of spores.
4. It is postulated that metabolism during these stages of linear increase may be regulated by processes occurring at cellular or intracellular surfaces or by synthesis of a limiting enzyme at constant rate.