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Synthetic Biology for Manipulating Quorum Sensing in Microbial Consortia
- Stephens, Kristina, Bentley, William E.
- Trends in microbiology 2020 v.28 no.8 pp. 633-643
- bacteria, cell communication, coculture, microbiome, quorum sensing, synthetic biology
- Bacteria exist as communities in diverse multispecies environments. Quorum sensing, a process for cell–cell communication, allows individual bacteria to glean information about their surroundings and coordinate activities with their neighbors. Recent studies indicate the importance of quorum sensing in microbiomes, but many questions remain regarding how quorum sensing may influence the composition and function of these communities. Synthetic biology, a field where scientists seek to design biological systems with predictable behavior, may provide tools to probe and manipulate quorum sensing behavior in natural consortia. In parallel, quorum sensing processes can be used as a tool in synthetic biology to construct synthetic cocultures with desired behavior. Here, we review recent synthetic biology strategies for manipulating quorum sensing processes in microbial consortia.