The molecular timeline of a reviving bacterial spore

Lior Sinai, Alex Rosenberg, Yoav Smith, Einat Segev, Sigal Ben-Yehuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The bacterial spore can rapidly convert from a dormant to a fully active cell. Here we study this remarkable cellular transition in Bacillus subtilis and reveal the identity of the newly synthesized proteins throughout spore revival. Our analysis uncovers a highly ordered developmental program that correlates with the spore morphological changes and reveals thespatial and temporal molecular events fundamental to reconstruct a cell. As opposed to current knowledge, we found that translation takes place during the earliest revival event, termed germination, a process hitherto considered to occur without the need for any macromolecule synthesis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that translation is required for execution of germination and relies on the bona fide translational factors RpmE and Tig. Our study sheds light on the spore revival process and on the vital building blocks underlying cellular awakening, thereby paving the way for designing new antimicrobial agents to eradicate spore-forming pathogens.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)695-707
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - 19 Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.


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