Detection of quorum-sensing N-acyl homoserine lactone signal molecules by bacterial biosensors

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2007 Jan;266(1):1-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2006.00501.x.


Many Gram-negative bacteria use N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs) as quorum-sensing (QS) signal molecules. AHL QS has been the subject of extensive investigation in the last decade and has become a paradigm for bacterial intercellular signaling. Research in AHL QS has been considerably aided by simple methods devised to detect AHLs using bacterial biosensors that phenotypically respond when exposed to exogenous AHLs. This article reviews and discusses the currently available bacterial biosensors which can be used in detecting and studying the different AHLs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 4-Butyrolactone / analogs & derivatives*
  • 4-Butyrolactone / analysis
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Quorum Sensing*
  • Signal Transduction


  • homoserine lactone
  • 4-Butyrolactone