Extracellular communication in bacteria

S.R. Chhabra, B. Philipp, L. Eberl, Michael Christian Givskov, P. Williams, M. Camara

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    Populations of bacterial cells often coordinate their responses to changes in their local environmental conditions through "quorum sensing", a cell-to-cell communication system employing small diffusible signal molecules. While there is considerable diversity in the chemistry of such signal molecules, in different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria they control pathogenicity, secondary metabolite production, biofilm differentiation, DNA transfer and bioluminescence. The development of biosensors for the detection of these signal molecules has greatly facilitated their subsequent chemical analysis which in turn has resulted in significant progress in understanding the molecular basis of quorum sensing-dependent gene expression. Consequently, the discovery and characterisation of natural molecules which antagonize quorum sensing-mediated responses has created new opportunities for the design of novel anti-infective agents which control infection through the attenuation of bacterial virulence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChemistry of Pheromones and Other Semiochemicals Ii
    Place of PublicationBerlin
    PublisherSpringer-verlag Berlin
    Publication date2005
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    SeriesTopics in Current Chemistry


    • N-acylhomoserine lactones
    • quorum sensing
    • antibacterial agents
    • bacterial pheromones
    • cell-cell signalling


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