Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 194, Issue 9, pp 759–767 | Cite as

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

  • Ralf Moeller
  • Ignacija Vlašić
  • Günther Reitz
  • Wayne L. Nicholson
Original Paper


Mutations in the RNA polymerase β-subunit gene rpoB causing resistance to rifampicin (RifR) in Bacillus subtilis were previously shown to lead to alterations in the expression of a number of global phenotypes known to be under transcriptional control. To better understand the influence of rpoB mutations on sporulation and spore resistance to heat and chemicals, cells and spores of the wild-type and twelve distinct congenic RifR mutant strains of B. subtilis were tested. 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 sporulation and in the spore resistance properties of B. subtilis.


Bacillus subtilis Sporulation Spore resistance Heat Chemicals 



The authors are very grateful to Andrea Schröder and Amy Perkins for their skillful technical assistance during parts of this work. We express thanks to Krunoslav Brčić-Kostić for his valuable support and the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and insightful suggestions. This study was supported in part by grant CBP.EAP.CLG.983747 from the NATO Science for Peace Program to R.M., and by grants from NASA (NNA06CB58G and NNX08AO15G) to W.L.N.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf Moeller
    • 1
  • Ignacija Vlašić
    • 2
  • Günther Reitz
    • 1
  • Wayne L. Nicholson
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Group ‘Astrobiology’, Radiation Biology Department, Institute of Aerospace MedicineGerman Aerospace Center (DLR)CologneGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Division of Molecular BiologyRuđer Bošković InstituteZagrebCroatia
  3. 3.Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Department of Microbiology and Cell ScienceUniversity of FloridaKennedy Space CenterUSA

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