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An endospore is a dormant, tough, and non-reproductive structure produced by certain bacteria from the Firmicute phylum. Endospore formation is usually triggered by lack of nutrients, and usually occurs in Gram-positive bacteria. In endospore formation, the bacterium divides within its cell wall. One side then engulfs the other. Endospores enable bacteria to lie dormant for extended periods, even centuries. When the environment becomes more favorable, the endospore can reactivate itself to the vegetative state. Examples of bacteria that can form endospores include Bacillus and Clostridium.

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