A gas chromatographic analysis method was employed to determine the cellula
r fatty acid (CFA) profiles of spores and vegetative cells of some aerobic
endospore-forming bacilli. The harvests of experimental strains were proces
sed to obtain pure spores and acquire whole cell fatty acid methyl esters f
or the subsequent gas chromatographic analysis, and the corresponding veget
ative cells were set as control. Evaluation of reproducibility of spore CFA
components revealed that, provided under standardized experimental procedu
re, spore CFA composition was stable enough for research purposes. Fatty ac
ids recovered in spores in greater quantities were saturated branched-chain
acids containing 15 and 17 carbon atoms, similar to the vegetative cells.
Commonly, the proportions of saturated branched-chain acids in spores were
greater than in vegetative cells. The dendrograms obtained by cluster analy
sis provided some meaningful taxonomic information of the experimental stra
ins. The fatty acids analysis of spores seems to be a promising supplementa
ry tool for the chemotaxonomic research of aerobic endospore-forming bacill
i. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.