Bacterial alkylquinolone signaling contributes to structuring microbial communities in the ocean.


Department of Biology, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, USA. [Email]


Marine bacteria form complex relationships with eukaryotic hosts, from obligate symbioses to pathogenic interactions. These interactions can be tightly regulated by bioactive molecules, creating a complex system of chemical interactions through which these species chemically communicate thereby directly altering the host's physiology and community composition. Quorum sensing (QS) signals were first described in a marine bacterium four decades ago, and since then, we have come to discover that QS mediates processes within the marine carbon cycle, affects the health of coral reef ecosystems, and shapes microbial diversity and bacteria-eukaryotic host relationships. Yet, only recently have alkylquinolone signals been recognized for their role in cell-to-cell communication and the orchestration of virulence in biomedically relevant pathogens. The alkylquinolone, 2-heptyl-4-quinolone (HHQ), was recently found to arrest cell growth without inducing cell mortality in selected phytoplankton species at nanomolar concentrations, suggesting QS molecules like HHQ can influence algal physiology, playing pivotal roles in structuring larger ecological frameworks.


2-heptyl-4-quinolone,Microbiome,Phytoplankton,Pseudoalteromonas,Quorum sensing,