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Trends Biochem Sci. 1996 Jun;21(6):214-9.

Quorum sensing: a population-density component in the determination of bacterial phenotype.

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Department of Applied Biochemistry and Food Science, University of Nottingham, Leicestershire, UK.


In bacteria, a network of cellular transduction mechanisms integrate signals from the bacterial environment to control gene expression, and thereby the bacterial phenotype. 'Quorum sensing' describes one such signalling mechanism in response to population density. It relies on the accumulation of small extracellular signalling molecules to modulate the transcription of target operons.

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