Chemical Communication among Bacteria

Editors: Stephen C. Winans1, Bonnie L. Bassler2
Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology Cornell University Ithaca, New York; 2: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Chevy Chase, Maryland and Department of Molecular Biology Princeton University Princeton, New Jersey
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic, Hardcover
Publication Year: 2008

Category: Microbial Genetics and Molecular Biology; Bacterial Pathogenesis

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Within the last fifteen years, scientists have discovered that most groups of bacteria use a rich chemical lexicon to send and receive signals from other bacteria. Bacteria use these signals to coordinate a wide range of activities, including bioluminescence, sporulation, biofilm formation, horizontal DNA transfer, population density estimates, and pathogenesis. Understanding this communication will be crucial for future research in bacterial physiology, ecology, and bacterial disease. It may also be useful in intervening in bacterial processes, both harmful and beneficial.

This new volume of thirty chapters brings together the latest findings on chemical communication among bacteria and points towards potential areas for future research. Organized into four sections, this volume addresses: cell-cell signaling during development and DNA exchange; signaling in relationship to humans, animals, and plants; production and detection of chemical signals; and eukaryotic quorum sensing. Important new discoveries addressed include the structures of three bacterial signal synthases, signal receptors, mechanisms of signal transduction, pathways, and the expression of target genes.

Leading researchers in various aspects of bacterial signaling have contributed to this volume and provide a comprehensive overview of signal synthesis, detection, and its impacts on bacterial behavior. This indispensable book will be necessary reading for any microbiologist looking for a wide-ranging reference book on cell-cell signaling.

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Doody Enterprises

27 January 2013

At A Glance

This book summarizes the science and recent research developments of chemical communication among bacteria.


This book focuses on the current research regarding the communication between bacteria by using chemical signals. The various topics show the variety of ways in which microorganisms correspond in order to survive in various environments. This type of cell-to-cell communication has been explored for a number of years but until recently it has been difficult to investigate.


The purpose is to communicate with a large number of scientists about the cell-to-cell signaling pathways that influence the lifestyle of microorganisms. This area of research is rapidly developing with the use of new techniques. This information will lead to the discovery of other bacterial products that can assist in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and environmental cleanup.


It would be appropriate for scientists and graduate students interested in getting an up-to-date review of microbial communication. It is written by scientists currently working in this area of research and thus it includes good background material as well as recent progress.


This book contains a number of different examples of how bacteria use chemicals to signal each other. It also describes the mechanisms by which these signals are produced and accepted by other cells. During the last 10 years there has been a large increase in the amount of new information regarding both the bacterial signal molecules and the receptors. This cell-to-cell communication has an effect on numerous bacterial functions from pathogenesis to quorum sensing, biofilm production, and pathogenicity. This communication also affects the survival of the microorganisms and has profound effects on numerous metabolic processes which likewise affect behavior. An interesting notion mentioned in this book is that the understanding of this chemical communication may lead to unique and new ways of treating animal and human disease caused by microorganisms.


This is an intriguing topic that will lead to a more complete understanding of how bacteria signal other cells in order to coordinate various processes. It is expected that this field of investigation will continue to grow to involve many different disciplines. This information can have far-reaching implications in the field of antimicrobial drug discovery as well as agriculture methods.

Doody Enterprises

Reviewer: Rebecca Horvat, PhD, D(ABMM) (University of Kansas Medical Center)

Review Date: Unknown

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