The development of both the spore and parasporal protein crystal of Bacillus cereus var. alesti was followed using chemical and cytological techniques. The changes which led to the formation of the fore-spore were similar to those already described for Bacillus cereus. However, adjacent to the developing fore-spore a small inclusion became discernible in phase contrast. This protein inclusion during its growth was differentiated from the chromatin and lipid-containing inclusions by sequential staining techniques.
During spore and crystal formation no net synthesis of either nucleic acid was detected. Tracer studies with radioactive phosphorus confirmed that the spore chromatin was derived from that in the vegetative cell. These same studies also indicated that a turnover of ribonucleic acid occurred during the sporulation process.
During their formation both the spore and crystal incorporated methionine-35S from the medium and from cellular material into a bound form. Sequential extractions with alkali and with alkaline-thioglycollate reagent revealed that the solubility characteristics of the mature crystal were possibly related to the presence of intermolecular disulphide bonds which developed after the major synthesis of the crystal was complete.
The synthetic nature of sporogenesis and crystal formation is discussed with reference to the concept of "endotrophic" sporulation.