Optimal Census by Quorum Sensing


Taillefumier T, Wingreen NS. Optimal Census by Quorum Sensing. PLoS Computational Biology [Internet]. 2015;11 (5) :e1004238 - .

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Bacteria regulate gene expression in response to changes in cell density in a process called quorum sensing. To synchronize their gene-expression programs, these bacteria need to glean as much information as possible about their cell density. Our study is the first to physically model the flow of information in a quorum-sensing microbial community, wherein the internal regulator of the individuals response tracks the external cell density via an endogenously generated shared signal. Combining information theory and Lagrangian formalism, we find that quorum-sensing systems can improve their information capabilities by tuning circuit feedbacks. Our analysis suggests that achieving information benefit via feedback requires dedicated systems to control gene expression noise, such as sRNA-based regulation.

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Last updated on 02/06/2017