Sensors 2012, 12(4), 4156-4171; doi:10.3390/s120404156
Article

Spatial Heterogeneity of Autoinducer Regulation Systems

Received: 21 February 2012; in revised form: 15 March 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 28 March 2012
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: autoinducer regulation network; spatial heterogeneity; division of work; hybrid push/pull control; quorum sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hense, B.A.; Müller, J.; Kuttler, C.; Hartmann, A. Spatial Heterogeneity of Autoinducer Regulation Systems. Sensors 2012, 12, 4156-4171.

AMA Style

Hense BA, Müller J, Kuttler C, Hartmann A. Spatial Heterogeneity of Autoinducer Regulation Systems. Sensors. 2012; 12(4):4156-4171.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hense, Burkhard A.; Müller, Johannes; Kuttler, Christina; Hartmann, Anton. 2012. "Spatial Heterogeneity of Autoinducer Regulation Systems." Sensors 12, no. 4: 4156-4171.

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