Spatial heterogeneity of autoinducer regulation systems.

TitleSpatial heterogeneity of autoinducer regulation systems.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHense, BA, Müller, J, Kuttler, C, Hartmann, A
JournalSensors (Basel)
Date Published2012
KeywordsBiofilms, Models, Theoretical, Quorum Sensing

Autoinducer signals enable coordinated behaviour of bacterial populations, a phenomenon originally described as quorum sensing. Autoinducer systems are often controlled by environmental substances as nutrients or secondary metabolites (signals) from neighbouring organisms. In cell aggregates and biofilms gradients of signals and environmental substances emerge. Mathematical modelling is used to analyse the functioning of the system. We find that the autoinducer regulation network generates spatially heterogeneous behaviour, up to a kind of multicellularity-like division of work, especially under nutrient-controlled conditions. A hybrid push/pull concept is proposed to explain the ecological function. The analysis allows to explain hitherto seemingly contradicting experimental findings.

Alternate JournalSensors (Basel)