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Int J Med Microbiol. 2006 Apr;296(2-3):61-71. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

Quorum sensing in vibrios: complexity for diversification.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, SE-90187 Umeå, Sweden.


N-acylhomoserine lactone-dependent quorum sensing was first discovered in two luminescent marine bacteria, Vibrio fischeri and Vibrio harveyi. The LuxI/R system of V. fischeri is the paradigm of Gram-negative quorum-sensing systems; however, it is not found in all vibrios. A more complex quorum-sensing regulation is found in V. harveyi. Three parallel systems transmit signals via phosphorelays that converge onto one regulatory protein LuxO. Components of the three systems are found only in vibrios. Of the five Vibrio strains analysed, the number and types of signal circuits found in each strain are diverse. The signalling systems have different regulatory responses depending on the type of association the Vibrio strains have with an animal host, which may reflect the diverse roles the vibrios have in structuring and maintaining microniches within the aquatic milieu. Further studies are likely to show that the diversity and complexity of the Vibrio quorum-sensing systems coordinate intraspecies behaviour, niche occupation, and possibly evolution.

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