Transcriptional and putative activity profiles for the major sporulation factors. The standardized expression ratios compared to the RNA reference pool of (a) sigH, (b) spo0A, (c) sigF, (d) sigE, and (e) sigG are shown in black, while the activity profiles based on the averaged standardized profiles of canonical genes under their control are shown in red. Putative genes (based on the B. subtilis model) responsible for activating σF (spoIIE), σE (spoIIR), and σG (spoIIIA operon) are shown as light blue diamonds. For the spoIIIA operon, the individual standardized ratios (Figure S13g in Additional data file 4) were averaged together. The gray bar indicates the onset of the transitional phase. (f) Compilation of the activity profiles for sigH (red), spo0A (blue), sigF (green), sigE (black), and sigG (purple). The numbers along the top correspond to the clusters in Figure 1c,d and the bars indicate the timing of each cluster.