Sporulation temperature reveals a requirement for CotE in the assembly of both the coat and exosporium layers of Bacillus cereus spores

Christelle Bressuire-Isoard, Isabelle Bornard, Adriano Jose Henriques, Frédéric Carlin, Véronique Broussolle

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The Bacillus cereus spore surface layers consist of a coat surrounded by an exosporium. We investigated the interplay between the sporulation temperature and the CotE morphogenetic protein in the assembly of the surface layers of B. cereus ATCC 14579 spores and on the resulting spore properties. The cotE deletion affects the coat and exosporium composition of the spores formed both at the suboptimal temperature of 20°C and at the optimal growth temperature of 37°C. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that ΔcotE spores had a fragmented and detached exosporium when formed at 37°C. However, when produced at 20°C, ΔcotE spores showed defects in both coat and exosporium attachment and were susceptible to lysozyme and mutanolysin. Thus, CotE has a role in the assembly of both the coat and exosporium, which is more important during sporulation at 20°C. CotE was more represented in extracts from spores formed at 20°C than at 37°C, suggesting that increased synthesis of the protein is required to maintain proper assembly of spore surface layers at the former temperature. ΔcotE spores formed at either sporulation temperature were impaired in inosine-triggered germination and resistance to UV-C and H2O2 and were less hydrophobic than wild-type (WT) spores but had a higher resistance to wet heat. While underscoring the role of CotE in the assembly of B. cereus spore surface layers, our study also suggests a contribution of the protein to functional properties of additional spore structures. Moreover, it also suggests a complex relationship between the function of a spore morphogenetic protein and environmental factors such as the temperature during spore formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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