Caister Academic Press

The Structure and Composition of the Outer Layers of the Bacterial Spore

Arthur I. Aronson
from: Bacterial Spores: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Ernesto Abel-Santos). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2012)


This review summarizes the basic structural features, composition and protein interactions of the bacterial spore. Aspects of the possible interactions between the external layers of the bacterial spore, the coat and exosporium and the functions of each is discussed in detail. An important theme is that spores are not simply dormant resistant structures for long term survival under conditions unsuitable for germination. Rather they are adaptable to physical and nutritional conditions in order to enhance their dormancy (resistance), infectivity and dispersal with the spore coat and exosporium having significant roles. Multiple functions beyond protection of the spore cytoplasm, a role in germination and attachment to substrata can begin to account for the complexity of each of these structures read more ...
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