Modulation of Bacterial Quorum Sensing by Eukaryotes

  • Sathish RajamaniEmail author
  • Lukuo Lee
  • Emma Smith
  • Max Majireck
  • Rajinikanth MohanEmail author


Bacterial quorum sensing (QS) mediated by small chemical signaling molecules is an important phenomenon that helps bacterial populations to synchronize and regulate their key cellular functions. Important to this behavior is employment of often unique signaling molecules that are recognized and bound by dedicated cognate receptors that result in modulation of gene expression. Well-documented examples are those of gram-negative bacterial N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) QS signaling pathways. The ability to disrupt or alter bacterial communication using signal analogues (agonist and antagonist) and other signal disruption mechanisms offers selective advantage to competitors and coinhabitants that share the environment with the bacterium. Such mechanisms are often found pervasive in both bacterial genre and higher eukaryotic hosts. Examples include employment of small molecular signals that target QS signaling and/or enzymes that inactivate QS signals. This report aims to highlight well-documented key mechanisms adapted by eukaryotes such as algae, fungi, plants, and animals both to sense bacterial QS signals and to employ bacterial QS modulators to regulate interkingdom interactions such as symbiosis, altered biofilm production, pathogenesis, etc. This knowledge could pave ways for developing nature-inspired non-antibiotic drugs, antifouling agents, and other bacterial fitness disruptor drugs that potentially bypasses bacterial drug resistance mechanisms, providing longer-term solutions for bacterial disease control.


Quorum sensing (QS) QS signaling pathways Modulation Gene expression Eukaryotes 



Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the US Army.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Molecular Translational SciencesUS Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, General Dynamics Information TechnologyFort DetrickUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyColgate UniversityHamiltonUSA
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryHamilton CollegeClintonUSA

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