Vegetative cells of Clostridium acetobutylicum are known to reduce hexavalent uranium (U(VI)). We investigated the ability of spores of this organism to drive the same reaction. We found that spores were able to remove U(VI) from solution when H, was provided as an electron donor and to form a U(IV) precipitate. We tested several environmental conditions and found that spent vegetative cell growth medium was required for the process. Electron microscopy showed the product of reduction to accumulate outside the exosporium. Our results point towards a novel U(VI) reduction mechanism, driven by spores, that is distinct from the thoroughly studied reactions in metal-reducing Proteobacteria. (C) 2010 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.