Bacillus subtilis sporulation and stationary phase gene expression

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 Mar;59(3):392-402. doi: 10.1007/s00018-002-8431-9.


Bacillus subtilis cells entering stationary phase due to nutrient deprivation have a number of options. Complex interconnected regulatory circuits govern differential gene expression patterns that channel the cell along the path it has sensed is most advantageous for survival in the environment. The actual choice depends upon the activity of an elaborate signal transduction network (the phosphorelay) that ultimately affects the activity of two key transcription factors, SpoOA and AbrB. Should the cell commit to sporulation, a temporally and spatially controlled cascade of RNA polymerase sigma factors leads to the development and release of an endospore from within the terminally differentiated, apoptotic mother cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / cytology
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / growth & development*
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Division
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Sigma Factor / metabolism
  • Spores, Bacterial / genetics*
  • Spores, Bacterial / growth & development*
  • Spores, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • AbrB protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Sigma Factor
  • Spo0A protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein Kinases