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Methods Enzymol. 2001;336:41-7.

Acylated homoserine lactone detection in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by radiolabel assay.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


We describe the development of a new radioactive assay for acyl-HSL production by bacterial cultures. The assay is based on the uptake of radiolabeled methionine and conversion of the radiolabel into SAM. The radiolabeled SAM is then incorporated into acyl-HSL by an acyl-HSL synthase. This assay is faster than previously used bioassays and shows no bias for the detection of acyl-HSLs of a particular length or side chain substitution. Acyl-HSL production can be monitored over a wide range of growth conditions in liquid culture. This assay can also be used in conjunction with a tube biofilm reactor to monitor acyl-HSL production by biofilm cultures. Ultimately this assay will allow comparison of acyl-HSL production by cells subjected to a variety of physiological conditions.

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