Faculty Advisor

Camesano, Terri Anne


The goal of this project was to study the effects of germinants L-alanine and inosine on the morphology of Bacillus anthracis spores in vitro using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and phase contrast microscopy. Spores were incubated for four hours with germinants, deposited on mica, dried, and imaged in air. Spores exposed to inosine, L-alanine, and a combination of both germinants swelled to 2.0, 6.0, and 2.5 times the size (area) of the control spores respectively. However, only the sample that was exposed to both germinants entered phase-1 germination, turning phase-dark as studied by phase contrast microscopy. Bumps and ridges on the spore surfaces became far less prevalent and prominent in samples exposed to germinants.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering