Bacterial endospores and their significance in stress resistance

  title={Bacterial endospores and their significance in stress resistance},
  author={Wayne L. Nicholson and Patricia Fajardo-Cavazos and Roberto Rebeil and Tony A. Slieman and Paul J. Riesenman and Jocelyn F. Law and Yaming Xue},
  journal={Antonie van Leeuwenhoek},
In terms of resistance to extreme environmental stresses, the bacterial spore represents a pinnacle of evolution. Spores are highly resistant to a wide variety of physical stresses such as: wet and dry heat, UV and gamma radiation, oxidizing agents, chemicals, and extremes of both vacuum and ultrahigh hydrostatic pressure. Some of the molecular mechanisms underlying spore resistance properties have been elucidated in the laboratory, and involve both: (i) protection of vital spore macromolecules… 

Kinetic evaluation of physiological heterogeneity in bacterial spores during thermal inactivation.

Understanding the heat-induced inactivation of bacterial spores with special regard to physiological, biochemical, and molecular properties is essential for developing an appropriate kinetic model elucidating the thermal effect on spore inactivation.

Roles of Small, Acid-Soluble Spore Proteins and Core Water Content in Survival of Bacillus subtilis Spores Exposed to Environmental Solar UV Radiation

It is indicated that α/β-type SASP and decreased spore core water content play an essential role in spore resistance to environmentally relevant UV wavelengths whereas SASP-γ does not.

Role of altered rpoB alleles in Bacillus subtilis sporulation and spore resistance to heat, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, and glutaraldehyde

Different levels of glucose catabolite repression during sporulation and spore resistance to heat and chemicals were observed in the RifR mutants, indicating the important role played by the RNA polymerase β-subunit, not only in the catalytic aspect of transcription, but also in the initiation of sporulations and in the spore Resistance properties of B. subtilis.

Preliminary evidence on photoreactivation of Frankia spores with visible light after exposure to UV-C radiation.

Spores of four Frankia strains, the nitrogen-fixing actinomycete, were exposed to short wavelength UV-C radiation of 254 nm at 1 lux cm2 for 10 min and showed repairing activity induced by white light as indicated from the increase in the...

Experimental studies addressing the longevity of Bacillus subtilis spores – The first data from a 500-year experiment

The first data from a 500-year microbial experiment is reported, revealing that space-like vacuum and high NaCl concentration negatively affected spore viability and spores of B. subtilis were subjected to various short-term storage experiments.

A Combination of Extreme Environmental Conditions Favor the Prevalence of Endospore-Forming Firmicutes

It is suggested that diversified survival strategies, including sporulation and metabolic adaptations, explain the biological success of EFF in geothermal and natural springs, and that multiple extreme environmental factors favor the prevalence of EFF.

High gas pressure: An innovative method for the inactivation of dried bacterial spores

An original non‐thermal process to inactivate dehydrated bacterial spores is described and parallels with polymer permeability to gas and rigidity at various water activities offer a few clues about the behavior of the outer layers of spores in response to this parameter and provide a good explanation for the sensitivity of spores to high gas pressure discharge at low hydration levels.

Genetic and physiological regulation of bacterial endospore development.

The structure and formation of an endospore is an attractive model for the assembly of complex macromolecular structures during development and the expression of genes involved in sporulation is compartmentalized.

Microbial survival in the stratosphere and implications for global dispersal

Inactivation of most bacteria in the authors' simulation indicates that the stratosphere can be a critical barrier to long-distance microbial dispersal and that survival in the upper atmosphere may be constrained by UV irradiation.



Mechanisms for the prevention of damage to DNA in spores of Bacillus species.

  • P. Setlow
  • Biology
    Annual review of microbiology
  • 1995
The DNA in dormant spores of Bacillus subtilis as well as other Bacillus species is extremely well protected against damage resulting from treatments such as desiccation, heat, oxidizing agents, and

Resistance of spores of Bacillus species to ultraviolet light

  • P. Setlow
  • Biology, Chemistry
    Environmental and molecular mutagenesis
  • 2001
Dormant spores of the various Bacillus species, including B. subtilis, are 5 to 50 times more resistant to UV radiation than are the corresponding growing cells, due to the photochemistry of DNA within spores, and DNA repair, in particular SP‐specific repair, during spore germination.

Role of Dipicolinic Acid in Survival ofBacillus subtilis Spores Exposed to Artificial and Solar UV Radiation

Spores lacking the gerA, gerB, and gerK nutrient germination pathways, and which therefore rely on chemical triggering of germination by the calcium chelate of DPA (Ca-DPA), were also more UV sensitive than wild-type spores to all wavelengths tested, suggesting that the Ca-D PA-mediated spore germination pathway may consist of a UV-sensitive component or components.

Sporicidal properties of hydrogen peroxide against food spoilage organisms.

Wet spores were more resistant than dry spores when good mixing was achieved during hydrogen peroxide treatment and inactivation curves followed first-order kinetics except for a lag period where the inactivation rate was very slow.

Resistance of Bacillus Endospores to Extreme Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Environments

The molecular laboratory model of spore resistance mechanisms is summarized and attempts to use the model as a basis for exploration of the resistance of spores to environmental extremes both on Earth and during postulated interplanetary transfer through space as a result of natural impact processes.

Molecular dissection of mutations in the Bacillus subtilis spore photoproduct lyase gene which affect repair of spore DNA damage caused by UV radiation

During phenotypic characterization of spl subclones using transformation crosses between the cloned wild-type spl gene and an spl-1 mutant recipient, an additional recombinant class was observed (called type II), spores of which exhibited slower germination kinetics following UV irradiation.

Bacillus subtilis Spore Coat

  • A. Driks
  • Biology
    Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
  • 1999
A model is presented that describes how morphogenetic proteins direct coat assembly to the specific subcellular site of the nascent spore surface and how they establish the coat layers.

The two major spore DNA repair pathways, nucleotide excision repair and spore photoproduct lyase, are sufficient for the resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to artificial UV-C and UV-B but not to solar radiation

Isogenic strains of Bacillus subtilis lacking either the NER or SP lyase DNA repair pathway were assayed for their relative resistance to radiation at a number of UV wavelengths, including UV-C (254 nm), UV-B (290 to 320 nm), full-spectrum sunlight, and sunlight from which theUV-B portion had been removed.

Artificial and Solar UV Radiation Induces Strand Breaks and Cyclobutane Pyrimidine Dimers in Bacillus subtilis Spore DNA

There is a complex spectrum of UV photoproducts in DNA of bacterial spores exposed to solar UV irradiation in the environment, and these sites were not detected in spore DNA under any of the irradiation conditions used.