UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology; Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacteriology | Microbiology | Physiology


Spore septum formation in Bacillus sphaericus 9602 occurs 2 h after the end of exponential growth at one end of the vegetative cell, which retains a uniform diameter. The apparently rigid spore septum contains an inner cell wall layer which disappears when the sporulation septum "bulges" into the mother cell cytoplasm. This process occurs simultaneously with terminal swelling at the end of the cell containing the spore septum. It is suggested that the inner cell wall layer is peptidoglycan and that its dissolution and the terminal swelling are consequences of a localized autolysis. Engulfment of the forespore by membrane proliferation results in the production of a forespore surrounded by two flexible, closely apposed membranes. These membranes appear to become more rigid as a peptidoglycan-like layer appears between them, concomitant with the condensation of the forespore nucleoid into a crescent-shaped structure. After nuclear condensation, visible development of distinct cortex, primordial cell wall, and spore coat layers begin, and the forespore cytoplasm assumes an appearance similar to that of a refractile spore. The spore coats consist of an amorphous inner layer, a lamellar midlayer, and a structured outer layer. As cortex synthesis and spore coat assembly continue, exosporium development commences close to that portion of the mother cell plasma membrane which surrounds the forespore. The exosporium is lamellar and in tangential section is seen to have a hexagonal arrangement of subunits. The timing of these morphological events has the expected correlation with the appearance of unique enzyme activites required for cortex synthesis.

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Copyright © 1975, American Society for Microbiology. Publisher PDF posted as allowed by the publisher's copyright policy at


J Bacteriol. 1975 Jun;122(3):1322-38. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of bacteriology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID