Research Topic

Spores and spore formers

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Bacterial spore formers have been the focus of intense study for almost half a century centered primarily on Bacillus subtilis. This research has given us a detailed picture of the genetic, physiological and biochemical mechanisms that allow bacteria to survive harsh environmental conditions by forming ...

Bacterial spore formers have been the focus of intense study for almost half a century centered primarily on Bacillus subtilis. This research has given us a detailed picture of the genetic, physiological and biochemical mechanisms that allow bacteria to survive harsh environmental conditions by forming highly robust spores. Although, many basic aspects of this process are now understood in great detail, bacterial sporulation still continues to be a highly attractive model for studying various cell processes at a molecular level. There are several reasons for such scientific interest. First, some of the complex steps in sporulation are not fully understood and/or only are only described by 'controversial' models. Second, intensive research on unicellular development of a single microorganism, B. subtilis, left us largely unaware of the multitude of diverse sporulation mechanisms in many other Gram-positive endospore and exospore formers.

This diversity would likely increase if we were to include sporulation processes in the Gram-negative spore formers. In addition, spore formers have great potential in applied research. Spore forming bacteria are becoming increasingly important in the areas of probiotics, vaccine technology and biotechnology. This Research Topic in Frontiers in Microbiology should detail the most recent advances in basic science of spore research and cover also emerging areas of scientific importance involving the use of spores and to cover their use as probiotics in humans and animals and also with plants. In addition it should cover the emerging use of the spore as a tool for nanobiotechnology where the spore can be used for the efficient display of heterologous proteins on the spore surface. Also it should cover the ecological roles of spores, the taxonomy and systematics of spore forming bacteria, and the architecture and assembly of spores.


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