Talk:CH391L/S12/Quorum Sensing

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  • "Razan Alnahhas 17:22, 30 March 2012 (EDT)":You wrote that QS has been used in synthetic biology as a biosensor for harmful bacteria, so could the QS system that monitors AHL levels be engineered to also respond to high concentrations of AHL by producing an antibiotic to kill the bacteria?
    • Adam Meyer 21:07, 31 March 2012 (EDT):Do you mean to put this QS-antibiotic system into the harmful bacteria or some other detector/killer strain? In the first case, the harmful bacteria would almost certainly just eliminate the system. In the second case, there is this [1].
    • Brian Renda 12:12, 2 April 2012 (EDT): Great find Adam! In my opinion the better approach to a response is to form some type of visibile indicator than a pathogenic shift in microbial populations is occurring, since having an automatic antibiotic response may just foster competition between the two species (not to the benefit of the host, I would imagine) and lead to resistance against that antibiotic. Also, different antibiotics tend to focus on different types of bacteria (with some more broad spectrum than others). What would be really cool is if you tied different AHLs or concentrations to different antibiotics, such that the response strain could initiate a logic driven tiered response to whatever threat it detected.
  • Yi Kou 12:24, 1 April 2012 (EDT):I am kind of interested in whether cell membrane permeability of the inducer interferes with the result; the system seems to be easily interrupted by different kinetics of inducer in and out the cell membrane.
  • Jeffrey E. Barrick 18:02, 1 April 2012 (EDT):In some cases, at least, it seems that quorum sensing is used for other purposes than for bacteria to "determine their densities". It may be used to determine how much flow is happening around a little clump of cells ("diffusion sensing" - kind of like testing the wind) [2]. The idea is that throwing out metabolically "cheap" compounds can let you determine whether making more costly things like extracellular siderophores or proteases is worth doing, or whether they would float away too quickly to give you a benefit.
  • Jeffrey E. Barrick 18:09, 1 April 2012 (EDT):Not sure what's up with this sentence..."thus allowing only bacteria on the edge of light and dark to to do."


  1. Saeidi N, Wong CK, Lo TM, Nguyen HX, Ling H, Leong SS, Poh CL, and Chang MW. . pmid:21847113. PubMed HubMed [Saeidi2011]
  2. Redfield RJ. . pmid:12160634. PubMed HubMed [Redfield2002]
All Medline abstracts: PubMed HubMed
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