Sprouting of a seed, spore, or other reproductive body, usually after a period of dormancy. Absorption of water, passage of time, chilling, warming, oxygen availability, and light exposure may all operate in initiating the germination process. The carefully controlled mass germination of cereal seeds supplies enzymes for the making of alcoholic beverages and for other industries; spores of the commercially cultivated mushroom Agaricus brunescens are also mass germinated.
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