—Lone Bacterium Forms A Quorum “Confined to a microfluidic droplet, a single microbe can be fooled into sending out chemical signals to initiate quorum-sensing behavior” Bacteria like to hole up in biofilms, a process that is mediated by chemical signals produced and detected by these microbes. These so-called quorum-sensing signals also help bacteria coordinate, with millions of their neighbors, the onset of everything from infection to bioluminescence. Now, researchers are reporting that small numbers of bacteria sent to the solitary confinement of a microfluidic droplet can be fooled into initiating quorum-sensing behavior (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.200901550). The approach could be used to study quorum sensing in bacteria that generally don't like to grow in a lab setting, notes Rustem F.
by Sarah Everts |
July 13, 2009