In details

Bacterial Endospores



Bacillus anthracis: example of endospore-producing bacteria

What they are and function

Bacterial endospores are structures of bacteria whose function is to provide resistance and ensure the survival of the organism in an inappropriate environment. They have this name because they are produced inside the bacteria.

Endospores are produced by bacteria when their environment is unfavorable to their survival.

Main features

- They have a thick wall, being a dehydrated structure. It will be hydrated again only when it finds a suitable environment for its reproduction.

- They are produced from DNA duplication (deoxyribonucleic acid). Therefore, the genetic material of the bacteria is present in the endospores.

- The bacterium has the ability to release these endospores into the environment.

- They are very resistant: to heat, cold, dry environment (lack of water) and even toxic substances (capable of killing many microorganisms).

Biological curiosity:

- Are there any pathogenic (disease-generating) bacteria, such as Clostridium tetani (causer of tetanus), which has the ability to produce endospores resistant to various environmental factors for a long time. They wait for the moment to infect a person to continue their reproduction.

Other examples of endospore-producing bacteria:

- Bacillus anthracis (anthrax or carbuncle).

- Clostridium botulinum (bacterium that causes botulism).

- Desulfotomaculum (bacteria present in the soil).

- Sporolactobacillus (anaerobic bacillus genus).