Micromonospora echinospora differentiates in both submerged and surface cultures producing abundant dark spores after a period of vegetative mycelial growth. In submerged batch cultures, under either carbon or nitrogen limiting conditions, protease activity was found to coincide with sporulation indicating a relationship between proteolytic activity and differentiation in this organism. Further evidence for this link was provided from surface grown cultures wherein sporulation was inhibited by the serine protease inhibitors TLCK and TPCK. The association between proteolysis and differentiation apparent in this organism correlates with evidence of a similar phenomenon observed in the streptomycetes, suggesting that this may be a common response associated with differentiation in filamentous actinomycetes.
- protease production
- micromonospora echinospora