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Bacterial quorum sensing and phenotypic heterogeneity: how the collective shapes the individual


Striednig, Bianca; Hilbi, Hubert (2022). Bacterial quorum sensing and phenotypic heterogeneity: how the collective shapes the individual. Trends in Microbiology, 30(4):379-389.

Abstract

Bacteria communicate with each other through a plethora of small, diffusible organic molecules called autoinducers. This cell-density-dependent regulatory principle is termed quorum sensing, and in many cases the process indeed coordinates group behavior of bacterial populations. Yet, even clonal bacterial populations are not uniform entities; rather, they adopt phenotypic heterogeneity to cope with consecutive, rapid, and frequent environmental fluctuations (bet-hedging) or to concurrently interact with each other by exerting different, often complementary, functions (division of labor). Quorum sensing is mainly regarded as a coordinator of bacterial collective behavior. However, it can also be a driver or a target of individual phenotypic heterogeneity. Hence, quorum sensing increases the overall fitness of a bacterial community by orchestrating group behavior as well as individual traits.

Abstract

Bacteria communicate with each other through a plethora of small, diffusible organic molecules called autoinducers. This cell-density-dependent regulatory principle is termed quorum sensing, and in many cases the process indeed coordinates group behavior of bacterial populations. Yet, even clonal bacterial populations are not uniform entities; rather, they adopt phenotypic heterogeneity to cope with consecutive, rapid, and frequent environmental fluctuations (bet-hedging) or to concurrently interact with each other by exerting different, often complementary, functions (division of labor). Quorum sensing is mainly regarded as a coordinator of bacterial collective behavior. However, it can also be a driver or a target of individual phenotypic heterogeneity. Hence, quorum sensing increases the overall fitness of a bacterial community by orchestrating group behavior as well as individual traits.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Microbiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Microbiology
Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Life Sciences > Virology
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:1 April 2022
Deposited On:21 Oct 2021 15:06
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:45
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0966-842X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tim.2021.09.001
PubMed ID:34598862
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