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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2004 Oct;15(5):495-502.

Quorum sensing and bacterial cross-talk in biotechnology.

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Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 5115 Plant Sciences Building, College Park 20742, USA.


Only a decade ago, the secretion and perception of small signalling molecules that in turn are transduced to coordinate behaviour of a 'minimal unit' of microorganisms was termed quorum sensing by EP Greenberg and colleagues. Since then, an explosion (or exponential growth) in understanding and prevalence of quorum-sensing systems has ensued, with sightings ranging from virulence in human and plant pathogens to degradative capacity of activated sludge. Not surprisingly, regulatory mechanisms span traditional inducer/repressor motifs homologous to the lac operon to the recently discovered interfering RNAs. Further characterisation of signalling circuits, coupled with creative niche applications, suggest a wealth of opportunity for advancing commercial biotechnology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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