Endospore stained Bacillus subtilis bacteria viewed @ 1000xTM.

Bacterial Endospores & Vegetative Cells - P2

Staining Bacterial Endospores
differential staining 
techniques, such as the Gram stain, will not impart color to endospores. In order to stain these tough structures, the endospore 
stain is used. 

Sources and Resources
  • Bauman, R. (2012) Microbiology With Diseases by Body System, third edition. Benjamin Cummings.
  • Tortora, G., Funke, B. & Case, C. (2013) Microbiology, An Introduction. Pearson.
Endospore stained Bacillus subtilis bacteria viewed @ 1000xTM. Vegetative, rod-shaped cells appear red and oval endospores green. Click here for more endospore related photos.

SPO VIDEO: How to Do an 
Endospore Stain 
Lab Tutorial
Page last updated: 4/2016

Photographic guides to differential stains 
now available!
1. Gram
2. Acid-fast
3. Endopsore

Acid fast stain @ 100xTM
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SPO VIDEO: How to Prepare a Bacterial Smear for Endospore Staining
Lab Tutorial
After the primary stain of malachite green is used, the slide is rinsed and the red counterstain safranin is used to impart color to the vegetative bacterial cell. In the end, endospores appear a blue-green color and vegetative cells are red.
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During the endospore stain protocol, a bacterial smear of an endospore-producing bacteria, such as Bacillus, is prepared. Then the dye malachite green is forced into the spore with heat from a water bath, in much the same way that fuchsin is forced through the waxy mycolic acid layer of Mycobacterium  in the acid-fast stain
Virtual Microbiology

You have free access to a large collection of materials used in two college-level introductory microbiology courses (8-week & 16-week). The Virtual Microbiology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including PowerPoint Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.
Prokaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz