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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007 Jun;73(11):3724-7. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Sensitive whole-cell biosensor suitable for detecting a variety of N-acyl homoserine lactones in intact rhizosphere microbial communities.

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  • 1Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


To investigate quorum sensing in rhizosphere soil, a whole-cell biosensor, Agrobacterium tumefaciens(pAHL-Ice), was constructed. The biosensor responded to all N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) tested, except C(4) homoserine lactone, with a minimum detection limit of 10(-12) M, as well as to both exogenously added AHLs and AHL-producing bacterial strains in soil. This highly sensitive biosensor reveals for the first time the increased AHL availability in intact rhizosphere microbial communities compared to that in bulk soil.

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