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Communication in biofilms

Denise Lindsay DENISE at gecko.biol.wits.ac.za
Fri Jan 24 07:58:12 EST 1997


I would like to add to what Davin C. Enigl wrote:
"There even seems to be communications between these cells because 
when the inner cells are starving, the outer cells increase the flow 
of nutrients to the inner cells. This is definitely a community if 
not an organism".

More evidence for communication between biofilm cells is found 
when discussing the phenomonon of "quorum sensing" in the bacterium, 
_Vibrio fischeri_, associated with the light sensing organs of 
marine animals such as the squid. The bacteria "sense" the density of 
attached cells by secretion of an autoinducer, which reaches a 
critical concentration necessary for the activation of the 
luminescence genes when cell densities are high. The autoinducer 
thus serves as an intercellular communication mechanism to determine 
population density of the biofilm.

*************************************
|   Denise Lindsay                  |
|   Department of Microbiology      |
|   University of the Witwatersrand |
|   Private Bag 3                   |
|   PO WITS 2050                    |
|   South Africa                    |
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