The Biology of Bacterial Sporulation
Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming gram-positive bacterium. Anthrax most commonly occurs among livestock in areas of poor sanitation. When B. anthracis is placed under stress, such as temperature extremes or nutrient deprivation, it undergoes a process known as sporulation. Unlike vegetative bacteria, spores are resilient, physically dormant bodies that are resistant to harsh conditions and can survive for centuries.
When the spores encounter favorable conditions, they germinate and rapidly multiply. These properties make B. anthracis an ideal biological weapon. In this experiment, students grow a related, but harmless laboratory non-pathogenic bacterium in the Bacillus family. They will investigate conditions that allow the bacterium to sporulate and germinate.
Experiment includes: Background information with complete instructions, Bacterial culture media and reagents, Microbiological-staining dyes, Sterile loops for plating bacteria, Petri plates, Transfer pipets, Microscope slides with coverslips. This experiment does NOT contain Anthrax. Enough for 6 groups.