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Keywords:

  • sporulation;
  • Bacillus subtilis;
  • chromosome translocation;
  • protein localization;
  • spore coat;
  • peptidoglycan

Abstract

The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis can initiate the process of sporulation under conditions of nutrient limitation. Here, we review some of the last 5 years of work in this area, with a particular focus on the decision to initiate sporulation, DNA translocation, cell–cell communication, protein localization and spore morphogenesis. The progress we describe has implications not only just for the study of sporulation but also for other biological systems where homologs of sporulation-specific proteins are involved in vegetative growth.