This paper highlights the distinctions between the infrared (IR) absorption spectra of vegetative versus sporulated <i>Bacillus</i> bacteria. It is observed that there are unique signatures clearly associated with either the sporulated or vegetative state and that vegetative cells (or cell debris) can contribute to the spore spectra. A distinct feature at ∼1739 cm<sup>−1</sup> appears to be unique to vegetative cell spectra and can also be used as an indicator of vegetative cells or cell debris in the spore spectra. The data indicate that the band arises from a lipid-soluble species such as an ester or phospholipid carbonyl bond and are consistent with it being either phosphatidyl glycerol (PG) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), two major classes of phospholipids found in vegetative cells of <i>Bacillus</i> species. A companion work discusses bands associated with the sporulated state.

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