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Intensities of Calcium Dipicolinate and Bacillus subtilis Spore Raman Spectra Excited with 244 nm Light

Volume 58, Number 12 (Dec. 2004) Page 1408-1412

Nelson, W.H.; Dasari, R.; Feld, M.; Sperry, J.F.


Ultraviolet (UV) resonance Raman spectra of Bacillus subtilis endospores have been excited at 244 nm. Spectra can be interpreted in terms of contributions from calcium dipicolinate and nucleic acid components. Differences between spectra of spores and vegetative cells are very large and are due to the dominance of the dipicolinate features in the spore spectra. Because the DNA and RNA composition of B. subtilis spores is known and because the cross-sections of Raman bands belonging to DNA and RNA bases are known, it is possible to calculate resonance Raman spectral cross-sections for the spore Raman peaks associated with the nucleic acids. The cross-sections of peaks associated with calcium dipicolinate have been measured from aqueous solutions. Cross-section values of the dominant 1017 cm-1 calcium dipicolinate peak measured from the Bacillus spores have been shown to be consistent with a calcium dipicolinate composition of ten percent or less by weight in the spores. It is suggested that spectral cross-sections of endospores excited at 244 nm can be estimated to be the sum of the cross-sections of the calcium dipicolinate, DNA, and RNA components of the spore. It appears that the peaks due to DNA and RNA can be used as an internal standard in the calculation of spore Raman peak cross-sections, and potentially the amount of calcium dipicolinate in spores. It is estimated on the basis of known nucleic acid base cross-sections that the most intense Raman band of the Bacillus subtilis spore spectra has a cross-section of no more than 4 × 10-18 cm2/mol-sr.