Bacteria living in communities convey their presence to each other by producing, releasing, and subsequently responding to the accumulation of a minimal threshold concentration of chemical signaling molecules termed autoinducers. This method of cell-cell communication is called quorum sensing. It allows a population of bacteria to coordinate behavior, and thus acquire some of the characteristics of multicellular organisms. The V. harveyi and M. xanthus systems are two of the most complex quorum sensing circuits. These two systems serve to exemplify the diversity of signals and the range of activities that are regulated by cell-cell communication in bacteria. Additionally, the V. harveyi and M. Xanthus multichannel two-component circuits enable these bacteria to collect, integrate, and process multiple sensory inputs. The use of two-component circuits that enable the influx and outflow of phosphate at multiple locations in the signal transduction circuit presumably allows very precise modulation of the output responses.. In V. fischeri, quorum sensing controls the celldensity dependent production of light. Other simpler quorum sensing circuits, such as LuxI-LuxR circuits, may not possess the inherent plasticity to integrate multiple signaling inputs nor the fine control that can be incorporated into multichannel two-component relays.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)