Impact of Protein Aggregates on Sporulation and Germination of Bacillus subtilis.
In order to improve our general understanding of protein aggregate (PA) management and impact in bacteria, different model systems and processes need to be investigated. As such, we developed an inducible synthetic PA model system to investigate PA dynamics in the Gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis. This confirmed previous observations that PA segregation in this organism seems to follow the Escherichia coli paradigm of nucleoid occlusion governing polar localization and asymmetric segregation during vegetative growth. However, our findings also revealed that PAs can readily persist throughout the entire sporulation process after encapsulation in the forespore during sporulation. Moreover, no deleterious effects of PA presence on sporulation, germination and spore survival against heat or UV stress could be observed. Our findings therefore indicate that the sporulation process is remarkably robust against perturbations by PAs and misfolded proteins.