Molecular insights into the initiation of sporulation in Gram-positive bacteria: new technologies for an old phenomenon


  • Keith Stephenson,

    1. School of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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  • Richard J. Lewis

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle NE2 4HH, UK
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  • Edited by Simon Cutting.

*Corresponding author. Tel: +44 191 222 5482; fax: +44 191 222 7424, E-mail address:


The last decade has witnessed extensive, and widespread, changes in scientific technologies that have impacted significantly upon the study of the life sciences. Arguably, the biggest advances in our comprehension of simple and complex biological processes have come as a consequence of obtaining the complete DNA sequence of organisms. It is likely that we will become accustomed to hearing of quantum leaps in the study and understanding of the biology of higher eukaryotes in the coming years, now that (near) complete genome sequences are available for man, mouse and rat. In this review, we will discuss the impact of genome sequence data, and the use of new scientific technologies that have emerged largely as consequence of the availability of this information, on the study of the master regulator of sporulation, Spo0A, in low G + C Gram-positive endospore-forming bacteria.