Name 2 common genera of bacteria capable of producing endospores and state which is an obligate anaerobe. Briefly discuss the function of a bacterial endospore. Describe the structure of a bacterial endospore. Define sporulation and germination. Name three infections that may be transmitted to humans by endospores.

Highlighted Bacterium

Read the description of Clostridium tetani and match the bacterium with the description of the organism and the infection it causes.

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Endospores are dormant alternate life forms produced by the genus Bacillus, the genus Clostridium, and a number other genera of bacteria, including Desulfotomaculum, Sporosarcina, Sporolactobacillus, Oscillospira, and Thermoactinomyces. Bacillus species (see Figure (PageIndex1)) are obligate aerobes that live in soil while Clostridium species (see Figure (PageIndex2)) are obligate anaerobes often found as normal flora of the gastrointestinal tract in animals.

Figure (PageIndex1): Endospore stain of Bacillus megaterium Figure (PageIndex2): Endospore stain of Clostridium tetani

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Note green endospores within pink bacilli.

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