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Open AccessArticle

Spatial Heterogeneity of Autoinducer Regulation Systems

1
Institute of Biomathematics and Biometry, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstraße 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
2
Department of Mathematics, Technische Universität München, Boltzmannstraße 3, 85748 Garching, Germany
3
Research Unit Microbe-Plant Interactions, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstraße 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2012, 12(4), 4156-4171; https://doi.org/10.3390/s120404156
Received: 21 February 2012 / Revised: 15 March 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 28 March 2012
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: autoinducer regulation network; spatial heterogeneity; division of work; hybrid push/pull control; quorum sensing autoinducer regulation network; spatial heterogeneity; division of work; hybrid push/pull control; quorum sensing
MDPI and ACS Style

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

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