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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2008 Aug;6(8):635-43. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1916. Epub 2008 Jun 9.

Establishing bacterial communities by 'word of mouth': LuxS and autoinducer 2 in biofilm development.

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Kim Rachael Hardie is at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.


Multicellular bacterial communities (biofilms) abound in nature, and their successful formation and survival is likely to require cell-cell communication--including quorum sensing--to co-ordinate appropriate gene expression. The only mode of quorum sensing that is shared by both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria involves the production of the signalling molecule autoinducer 2 by LuxS. A survey of the current literature reveals that luxS contributes to biofilm development in some bacteria. However, inconsistencies prevent biofilm development being attributed to the production of AI2 in all cases.

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