Online database on bacterial sporulation

The first scientific information source to gain in-depth knowledge on bacterial sporulation; easy-to-use, complete and free.

Mild processing techniques have become very popular as they preserve the sensory and nutritional quality of food products. The downside however is that some microorganisms can survive these treatments. It is imperative to the food industry to understand the stress responses in pathogens and the heterogeneity in these responses as the basis for new strategies to ensure the safety of products.


The TI Food and Nutrition projects Predictive Modeling and Spores are set up to  deliver phenotypic data on spore properties and behavior as well as generic models to predict the survival and subsequent growth of microorganisms that negatively impact food safety and food quality. One of the project aims is to compile a complete list of the genes involved in sporulation and germination of the food-born pathogen Bacillus subtilis. This list will serve as a reference framework for (studying) other sporulating bacteria and has now been implemented in an online knowledge platform called SporeWeb.


SporeWeb is the first scientific information source to combine an interactive review with a focus on a single bacterial process. It is an easily accessible, up-to-date and free information source that answers a wide range of questions from industry, academia and any party interested in spore-forming bacteria. The website allows food manufacturers to gain in-depth knowledge on the bacterial sporulation process without the need for extensive expertise. This will facilitate communication between scientists and non-scientists in research on spore-formers. A better understanding of the sporulation and germination processes as well as of spore characteristics and behavior will help the industry to develop more effective strategies to combat bacterial spores in food products.

SporeWeb is focused on gene regulatory processes and networks, but in the future could easily depict other processes vital to spore development, such as protein production and protein interactions. The SporeWeb concept could also be used as a template for knowledge platforms on other common food-borne micro-organisms, such as Bacillus cereus or Clostridium.