University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series > Plenary Lecture 1: Understanding bacterial communication and cooperation: combinatorial quorum-sensing

Plenary Lecture 1: Understanding bacterial communication and cooperation: combinatorial quorum-sensing

Add to your list(s) Download to your calendar using vCal

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mustapha Amrani.

Understanding Microbial Communities; Function, Structure and Dynamics

Quorum sensing (QS) is a cellcell communication system that controls gene expression in many bacterial species, mediated by diffusible signal molecules. Although the intracellular regulatory mechanisms of QS are often well-understood, the functional roles of QS remain controversial. In particular, the use of multiple signals by many bacterial species poses a serious challenge to current functional theories. Here, we address this challenge by showing that bacteria can use multiple QS signals to infer both their social (density) and physical (mass-transfer) environment. Analytical and evolutionary simulation models show that the detection of, and response to, complex social/physical contrasts requires multiple signals with distinct half-lives and combinatorial (nonadditive) responses to signal concentrations. We test these predictions using the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa and demonstrate significant differences in signal decay between its two primary si gnal molecules, as well as diverse combinatorial responses to dual-signal inputs. QS is associated with the control of secreted factors, and we show that secretome genes are preferentially controlled by synergistic AND -gate responses to multiple signal inputs, ensuring the effective expression of secreted factors in high-density and low mass-transfer environments. Our results show that combinatorial communication is not restricted solely to primates and is computationally achievable in single-celled organisms.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

Tell a friend about this talk:

This talk is included in these lists:

Note that ex-directory lists are not shown.

 

© 2006-2021 Talks.cam, University of Cambridge. Contact Us | Help and Documentation | Privacy and Publicity