The Physical Basis of Bacterial Quorum Communication

  • Stephen J. Hagen

Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Stephen J. Hagen
    Pages 1-5
  3. Arnab Bandyopadhyay, Andrew T. Fenley, Suman K. Banik, Rahul V. Kulkarni
    Pages 7-18
  4. Marc Weber, Javier Buceta
    Pages 19-52
  5. James Q. Boedicker, Katie Brenner, Douglas B. Weibel
    Pages 53-81
  6. B. A. Hense, C. Kuttler, J. Müller
    Pages 83-103
  7. Avraham Be’er, Sivan Benisty, Gil Ariel, Eshel Ben-Jacob
    Pages 145-162
  8. Raf De Dier, Maarten Fauvart, Jan Michiels, Jan Vermant
    Pages 189-204
  9. Edward M. Nelson, Utkur Mirsaidov, Koshala Sarveswaran, Nicolas Perry, Volker Kurz, Winston Timp et al.
    Pages 205-226
  10. Robert Phillip Smith, Lauren Boudreau, Lingchong You
    Pages 227-247
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 249-252

About this book


This book aims to educate physical scientists and quantitatively-oriented biologists on the application of physical experimentation and analysis, together with appropriate modeling, to understanding and interpreting microbial chemical communication and especially quorum sensing (QS). Quorum sensing describes a chemical communication behavior that is nearly universal among bacteria. Individual cells release a diffusible small molecule (an autoinducer) into their environment. A high concentration of this autoinducer serves as a signal of high population density, triggering new patterns of gene expression throughout the population. However QS is often much more complex than simple census-taking. Many QS bacteria produce and detect multiple autoinducers, which generate quorum signal cross talk with each other and with other bacterial species. QS gene regulatory networks operate in physically complex environments and respond to a range of inputs in addition to autoinducer signals. While many individual QS systems have been characterized in great molecular and chemical detail, quorum communication raises fundamental quantitative problems that increasingly attract the attention of physical scientists and mathematicians. Key questions include: What kinds of information can a bacterium gather about its environment through QS? How do QS regulatory networks employ feedback and nonlinearity, and how do they modulate or manage gene regulatory noise? How does QS function in complex, spatially structured environments such as biofilms? What physical and chemical factors in the environment ultimately constrain diffusion-based communication? What types of physical phenomena, such as motility and hysteresis, can be facilitated by QS? How can we manipulate and interpret QS behavior in complex physical environments and artificial structures? Previous books and reviews have focused on the microbiology and biochemistry of QS. With contributions by leading scientists and mathematicians working in the field of physical biology, this volume examines the interplay of diffusion and signaling, collective and coupled dynamics of gene regulation, and spatiotemporal QS phenomena. Chapters describe experimental studies of QS in natural and engineered or microfabricated bacterial environments, as well as theory and modeling of QS on intracellular as well as extracellular, macroscopic length scales.

·         Analyzes bacterial quorum sensing from a physical and mathematical perspective

·         Explores the role of spatiotemporal diffusion, physical environment, regulatory dynamics, stochasticity and information in quorum communication

·         Includes contributions from leading experimentalists, theoreticians, engineers and modelers

·         Takes a physical science and engineering approach to the subject, but will appeal to anyone with an interest in physical biology


Chemical Communication Diffusion Information Theory Microbiology Noisy Quorum Systems QS QS Regulatory Networks Quorum Sensing Quorum Sensing Modeling Quorum Sensing Networks Architecture Quorum Sensing Physical Aspects Quorum Sensing Quantitative Methods Spatiotemporal QS Phenomena Stochastic Gene Expression Synthetic QS Systems

Editors and affiliations

  • Stephen J. Hagen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4939-1401-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4939-1402-9
  • Series Print ISSN 1618-7210
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-5647
  • Buy this book on publisher's site