Detecting Cortex Fragments During Bacterial Spore Germination. Academic Article uri icon


  • The process of endospore germination in Clostridium difficile, and other Clostridia, increasingly is being found to differ from the model spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus subtilis. Germination is triggered by small molecule germinants and occurs without the need for macromolecular synthesis. Though differences exist between the mechanisms of spore germination in species of Bacillus and Clostridium, a common requirement is the hydrolysis of the peptidoglycan-like cortex which allows the spore core to swell and rehydrate. After rehydration, metabolism can begin and this, eventually, leads to outgrowth of a vegetative cell. The detection of hydrolyzed cortex fragments during spore germination can be difficult and the modifications to the previously described assays can be confusing or difficult to reproduce. Thus, based on our recent report using this assay, we detail a step-by-step protocol for the colorimetric detection of cortex fragments during bacterial spore germination.

published proceedings

  • J Vis Exp

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Francis, M. B., & Sorg, J. A.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Francis, Michael B||Sorg, Joseph A

publication date

  • June 2016