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Do mycobacteria produce endospores?

Traag, BA and Driks, A and Stragier, P and Bitter, W and Broussard, G and Hatfull, G and Chu, F and Adams, KN and Ramakrishnan, L and Losick, R (2010) Do mycobacteria produce endospores? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (2). 878 - 881. ISSN 0027-8424

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The genus Mycobacterium, which is a member of the high G+C group of Gram-positive bacteria, includes important pathogens, such as M. tuberculosis and M. leprae. A recent publication in PNAS reported that M. marinum and M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin produce a type of spore known as an endospore, which had been observed only in the low G+C group of Gram-positive bacteria. Evidence was presented that the spores were similar to endospores in ultrastructure, in heat resistance and in the presence of dipicolinic acid. Here, we report that the genomes of Mycobacterium species and those of other high G+C Gram-positive bacteria lack orthologs of many, if not all, highly conserved genes diagnostic of endospore formation in the genomes of low G+C Gram-positive bacteria. We also failed to detect the presence of endospores by light microscopy or by testing for heat-resistant colony-forming units in aged cultures of M. marinum. Finally, we failed to recover heat-resistant colony-forming units from frogs chronically infected with M. marinum. We conclude that it is unlikely that Mycobacterium is capable of endospore formation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Traag, BA
Driks, A
Stragier, P
Bitter, W
Broussard, G
Hatfull, Ggfh@pitt.eduGFH
Chu, F
Adams, KN
Ramakrishnan, L
Losick, R
Date: 15 February 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume: 107
Number: 2
Page Range: 878 - 881
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1073/pnas.0911299107
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Biological Sciences
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0027-8424
MeSH Headings: Bacillus subtilis--genetics; Base Sequence; Chromosomes, Bacterial--genetics; DNA, Bacterial--genetics; Genome, Bacterial; Humans; Mycobacterium--genetics; Mycobacterium--physiology; Mycobacterium marinum--genetics; Mycobacterium marinum--physiology; Mycobacterium tuberculosis--genetics; Mycobacterium tuberculosis--physiology; Operon; Spores, Bacterial--physiology; Streptomyces--genetics; Tuberculosis--genetics; Tuberculosis--immunology
Other ID: NLM PMC2818926
PubMed Central ID: PMC2818926
PubMed ID: 20080769
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2012 21:24
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:57


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