Visualizing Bacillus subtilis During Vegetative Growth and Spore Formation

  • Xindan WangEmail author
  • Paula Montero Llopis
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1431)


Bacillus subtilis is the most commonly used Gram-positive bacterium to study cellular processes because of its genetic tractability. In addition, during nutrient limitation, B. subtilis undergoes the development process of spore formation, which is among the simplest examples of cellular differentiation. Many aspects of these processes have benefited from fluorescence microscopy. Here, we describe basic wide-field fluorescence microscopy techniques to visualize B. subtilis during vegetative growth, and the developmental process of sporulation.

Key words

Bacillus subtilis Vegetative growth Sporulation Fluorescence microscopy Time-lapse microscopy 



Support for this work comes from National Institutes of Health Grants GM086466 and GM073831 (to David Z. Rudner). X.W. was a long-term fellow of the Human Frontier Science Program. P.M.L. is a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology & ImmunobiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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