Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Gerda Horneck
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1496-3



Sporulation is a differentiation process of bacteria and fungi by which a vegetative cell becomes converted into a dormant structure. Bacteria of the genus Bacillus and Clostridium form endospores, i.e., spores inside the cell at the end of their growth period when nutrients become limited. During the different stages of the sporulation cycle, different proteins are synthesized. Sporulation includes the following subsequent steps: structural changes of DNA, septum formation, separation of spore DNA, synthesis of a prespore, engulfment, forespore formation, cortex formation, deposition of spore coats, spore maturation, lyses of the sporangium, and release of the spore. The released spore is more resistant to environmental stressing conditions than the vegetative mother cell.

See Also


Structural Change Vegetative Cell Bioorganic Chemistry Growth Period Differentiation Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DLR German Aerospace CenterInstitute of Aerospace Medicine, Radiation BiologyKölnGermany