On sporulation the slender vegetative rods swell and form larger spindle-shaped cells in which the spores are formed. When the spores mature they lie in a lateral position cradled in canoe-shaped parasporal bodies which are highly basophilic and can be differentiated from the surrounding vegetative cell cytoplasm with dilute basic dyes. On completion of sporulation the vegetative cell protoplasm and the cell wall lyse, leaving the spore cradled in its parasporal body. This attachment continues indefinitely on the usual culture medium and even persists after the spores have germinated. In thin sections of sporing cells the bodies are differentiated from the cell protoplasm by differences in structure. Whereas the protoplasm has a granular appearance, in both longitudinal and cross-sections the parasporal body comprises electron-dense lamellae running parallel with the membranes of the spore coat and less electron-dense material in the interstices of the lamellae. The inner surface of the body is contiguous with that of the spore coat as if it were part of the spore, rather than a separate body attached to the spore. The staining reactions of the parasporal body are not consistent with those of any substance described in bacteria. With Giemsa the bodies stain like chromatin, but the Feulgen reaction indicates that they do not contain the requisite nucleic acid. With an aqueous solution of toluidine blue they stain metachromatically, but with an acidified solution the results are variable. Neisser's stain for polyphosphate is negative. The basophilic substance is removed from the body with some organic solvents. This basophilic substance has not been specifically identified with any material seen in ultrathin sections, but it is suggested that it might be the less electron-dense material in the interstices of the lamellar structure. In contrast to the spore coat of B. laterosporus, those of its two relatives B. brevis and B. circulans take up basic stain like the parasporal body. Thin spore sections of these species have shown that the walls are thicker than those surrounding the spores of B. laterosporus, and it is suggested that the outer stainable layer of brevis and circulans spores is an accessory coat which in laterosporus may have been deformed to give a parasporal body.

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