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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Small protein-mediated quorum sensing in a gram-negative bacterium: novel targets for control of infectious disease.

  • Author(s): Ronald, Pamela C
  • et al.

Control of Gram-negative bacterial infections of plants and animals remains a major challenge because conventional approaches are often not sufficient to eradicate these infections. One major reason for their persistence seems to be the capability of the bacteria to grow within biofilms that protect them from adverse environmental factors. Quorum sensing (QS) plays an important role in the formation of biofilms. In QS, small molecules serve as signals to recognize bacterial cell population size, leading to changes in expression of specific genes when a signal has accumulated to some threshold concentration. The small protein Ax21 (Activator of XA21-mediated immunity), serves as a QS factor that regulates biofilm formation and virulence in the Gram-negative bacterium, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Knowledge of small protein-mediated QS in Gram-negative bacteria can be used to develop new methods to control persistent Gram-negative infections.

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