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Environ Microbiol Rep. 2011 Apr;3(2):218-222.

The Prevalence of Functional Quorum-Sensing Systems in Recently Emerged Vibrio cholerae Toxigenic Strains.

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Department of Microbiology, MOA Key Lab of Microbiological Engineering of Agricultural Environment, Nanjing Agricultural University, China.


Vibrio cholerae live in aquatic environments and cause cholera disease. Like many other bacteria, V. cholerae use quorum-sensing (QS) systems to control various cellular functions, such as pathogenesis and biofilm formation. However, some V. cholerae strains are naturally QS-defective, including defective mutations in the quorum sensing master regulator HapR. Here we examined the QS functionality of 602 V. cholerae clinical and environmental strains isolated in China from 1960-2007, by measuring QS-regulated gene expression. We found that a greater percentage of the toxigenic strains (ctxAB(+)) had functional QS as compared to the non-toxigenic strains (ctxAB(-)), and that this trend increased significantly over time. We hypothesize that QS provides adaptive value in V. cholerae pathogenic settings.

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