Vibrio fischeri Symbiotically Synchronizes Bioluminescence in Marine Animals via Quorum Sensing Mechanism

  • Pallaval Veera Bramhachari
  • G. Mohana Sheela


The process of intercellular communication called quorum sensing (QS) was first described in the marine bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri which lives in symbiotic associations with a number of marine animal hosts. A luciferase enzyme complex is found to be responsible for light production in V. fischeri. The bioluminescence emitted by these bacteria is a striking result of individual microbial cells coordinating a group behavior. In V. fischeri, QS controls bioluminescence, the ability of the bacteria to produce light, at high cell density. The mechanism of sensing involves an AI synthase, LuxI in V. fischeri, which makes small auto inducer molecules (AHLs). The autoinducer builds up in medium at high concentrations binds to a transcription regulator, LuxR in V. fischeri, which then alters the gene expression by coordinating bioluminescence among the local cell population. The genes responsible for light production are principally regulated by LuxR-LuxI QS system. This review primarily emphasizes the role of AHL signal molecules in QS network between the bacteria-animal symbiotic associations.


Vibrio fischeri Quorum sensing Autoinducer molecules (AHLs) Bioluminescence 



PVBC is grateful to Krishna University for providing necessary facilities to carry out the research work and for extending constant support.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pallaval Veera Bramhachari
    • 1
  • G. Mohana Sheela
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyKrishna UniversityMachilipatnamIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiotechnologyVignan UniversityGunturIndia

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