SUMMARY: In decadent sporulation mutants, sporulating populations are heterogeneous: the cells reach successive chemical and physical resistances with progressively decreasing frequencies. Each decadent mutant can be characterized by the shape and slope of the curve describing the frequency of cells resistant to various agents (‘the resistance spectrum’). In some mutants the resistance spectrum decreases progressively from xylene resistance to heat resistance; in other mutants it decreases rapidly between octanol resistance and chloroform resistance. Electron microscopy showed that in two mutants the majority of the cells are blocked at stages III and IV; the number of cells that develop further to reach successive morphological stages falls off progressively. In two other mutants most cells reach stage V. Cortex-less spores are also frequent. One of the decadent mutations, , was localized between and The phenotype of decadent mutants is discussed in terms of sequential gene activation.


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