Standard Article

Bacterial Endospores

  1. Robert E Marquis1,
  2. Philipp Gerhardt2

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0000300



How to Cite

Marquis, R. E. and Gerhardt, P. 2001. Bacterial Endospores. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Rochester, Rochester, NewYork, USA

  2. 2

    Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (17 FEB 2014)


The spores of bacteria formed mainly by members of the genera Bacillus and Clostridium are termed endospores because they develop singly within mother or sporangial cells. Endospores are released into the environment after they are fully mature through autolysis of the sporangium.


  • bacterial endospores;
  • sporeforming bacteria;
  • heat resistance of spores;
  • dormancy and survivability of spores;
  • sterilization and disinfection;
  • differentiation in bacteria