The sporulation process in Bacillus subtilis has been studied principally with KMnO4 fixation, but also, for the purpose of comparison, with OsO4 and mixtures of both fixatives.
At a very early stage, the pre-spore is seen to consist of what seems to be the nuclear material and granular substance, surrounded by a layer of dense material destined to become the innermost layer of the spore coat. At a subsequent stage, a light interspace is observed that is destined to become the spore cortex.
The mature spore shows a very complex structure. The spore coat is composed of three layers, the middle layer of which consisted of 5 to 8 lamellae of thin membranes and interspaces, both about 20 to 25 A thick. Between the inner layer of the spore coat and the spore cortex, a thin membrane with an affinity to the cortex can be observed. The spore coat is enclosed within two envelopes, one loosely surrounding the core, and the other adhering to it. The process of spore maturation has been studied in detail.
Certain peculiar cellular structures have been observed that seemed to represent features of abnormal sporulation processes.