Updates on the sporulation process in Clostridium species

Prabhat K. Talukdar, Valeria Olguín-Araneda, Maryam Alnoman, Daniel Paredes-Sabja, Mahfuzur R. Sarker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Sporulation is an important strategy for certain bacterial species within the phylum Firmicutes to survive longer periods of time in adverse conditions. All spore-forming bacteria have two phases in their life; the vegetative form, where they can maintain all metabolic activities and replicate to increase numbers, and the spore form, where no metabolic activities exist. Although many essential components of sporulation are conserved among the spore-forming bacteria, there are differences in the regulation and the pathways among different genera, even at the species level. While we have gained much information from the most studied spore-forming bacterial genus, Bacillus, we still lack an in-depth understanding of spore formation in the genus Clostridium. Clostridium and Bacillus share the master regulator of sporulation, Spo0A, and its downstream pathways, but there are differences in the activation of the Spo0A pathway. While Bacillus species use a multi-component phosphorylation pathway for phosphorylation of Spo0A, termed phosphorelay, such a phosphorelay system is absent in Clostridium. On the other hand, a number of genes regulated by the different sporulation-specific transcription factors are conserved between different Clostridium and Bacillus species. In this review, we discuss the recent findings on Clostridium sporulation and compare the sporulation mechanism in Clostridium and Bacillus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-235
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Clostridium
  • Sigma factors
  • Spo0A
  • Spores
  • Sporulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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