Interspecies communication in bacteria

Michael J. Federle, Bonnie Lynn Bassler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

452 Scopus citations


Until recently, bacteria were considered to live rather asocial, reclusive lives. New research shows that, in fact, bacteria have elaborate chemical signaling systems that enable them to communicate within and between species. One signal, termed AI-2, appears to be universal and facilitates interspecies communication. Many processes, including virulence factor production, biofilm formation, and motility, are controlled by AI-2. Strategies that interfere with communication in bacteria are being explored in the biotechnology industry with the aim of developing novel antimicrobials. AI-2 is a particularly attractive candidate for such studies because of its widespread use in the microbial kingdom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1299
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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