Development of a Method for Obtaining and Selecting Sporulation Mutants of a Bacillus Subtilis Strain with Production of Protease
Morris, Robert L.
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The ultimate goals of this project were to find a dependable method by which sporulation mutant (non-sporulating or asporogenous) with high protease-production could be obtained and to select such a culture. The organism used in the investigation was a strain of Bacillus subtilis unknown to me and designated W-l. Bacillus subtilis organisms are gram-positive, endospore-producing aerobes and appear as a straight rod growing in long chains. The individual organisms are about two to eight µ long and 0.7 µ wide and are motile. The genus Bacillus includes many saprophytes of soil and water that are very useful in the decay of matter. A number of parasites are also included in this genus. I concentrated on four areas of study: 1) finding a dependable means of obtaining a spore crop; 2) germinating the spores; 3) mutating the cells derived from spores which had germinated (lost refractility); and 4) screening the cells for the desired mutant. If time permitted I would also examine the problems of preserving the cultures.