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How would you define quorum sensing in bacteria?



Bacteria can talk to each other via molecules they produce themselves. In this way, bacteria can synchronize together and function as one large unit or colony. The phenomenon is called quorum sensing, and is important to bacterial metabolism, growth and virulence. Watch the following video on “How Bacteria Talk”, then read the link below on “Quorum Sensing” to learn more.

Bassler, B.(2009). How Bacteria “talk”. Accessed at on September 14, 2016.

What is Quorum Sensing? Accessed at  on September 14, 2016.


Prepare a 2- to 3-page paper in which you address the following questions:

  1. How would you define quorum sensing in bacteria?
  2. How can quorum sensing improve nutrient delivery to bacteria?
  3. Not all bacterial relationships are harmful like the example Dr. Bassler gave for the squid and bacterial bioluminescence. Describe an example of a microbial relationship in the human body that is beneficial. Which body system is involved (intestinal tract, skin, etc.)? Which bacterial species is involved? How is it beneficial for both the bacterium and host?
  4. What does the concept of quorum sensing mean for virulence and disease in humans?
  5. Based on Dr. Bassler’s research on quorum sensing, what might the “next generation” of antibiotics look like? How might they work?

SLP Assignment Expectations


TUI encourages all students to comply with APA style and format guidelines for proper citation of references.  Use the formatting in your Background page as a model.

Scholarly Content                  

Your SLP assignment is considered a scholarly work. Your final work should include peer reviewed (scholarly) sources.  Please use the formatting demonstrated in your Background section to cite the tutorials and readings from the Overview.

Please keep in mind that you should not use sources such as “” or “Wikipedia” or “Wikianswers.”  None of these are scholarly sources and they can be “modified” by any registered user which makes them unreliable.

Appropriate Headings and Paper Flow

Remember that you are preparing a formal academic paper. Your paper should make use of appropriate headings and subheadings.  You should not cut and paste the questions posed and answer them like a “Question and Answer” session.  Your finished paper should read like an academic paper. Upload your final word document to the SLP assignment dropbox.


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