Chemical communication among bacteria

Michiko E. Taga, Bonnie L. Bassler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

354 Scopus citations


Cell-cell communication in bacteria is accomplished through the exchange of chemical signal molecules called autoinducers. This process, called quorum sensing, allows bacteria to monitor their environment for the presence of other bacteria and to respond to fluctuations in the number and/or species present by altering particular behaviors. Most quorum-sensing systems are species- or group-specific, which presumably prevents confusion in mixed-species environments. However, some quorum-sensing circuits control behaviors that involve interactions among bacterial species. These quorum-sensing circuits can involve both intra- and interspecies communication mechanisms. Finally, anti-quorum-sensing strategies are present in both bacteria and eukaryotes, and these are apparently designed to combat bacteria that rely on cell-cell communication for the successful adaptation to particular niches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14549-14554
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 15 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • Autoinducer
  • Cell-cell communication
  • Quorum sensing


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical communication among bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this