• Bacilli ;
  • bacterial endospores;
  • Clostridia ;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • quantitative proteomics


Endospores are metabolically dormant, multi-layered cellular structures formed by Gram-positive bacteria belonging to the genera Bacillus, Clostridium and related organisms. Their external layers are composed of proteins which in part play a role in the resistance behaviour of spores to varied chemical and environmental assaults. Thus, protein analysis is of major interest in spore biology. Spore proteomic studies have been carried out previously but these studies have focused on the soluble coat protein fraction. Using gel-based techniques, protein identification and analysis were performed. Mass spectrometry-driven proteomics has opened new avenues to resolve in particular the insoluble part of the spore layer proteomes. Mass spectrometry-based qualitative and quantitative proteomics methods expand the knowledge about both the actual composition and the amount of proteins in their various layers. The techniques can also be used to study the integrity of the layers as well as spore biology in general. This notion is explored concisely in this mini-review.