Instituto de Investigaciones Químico-Biológicas, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Edificio B3, Ciudad Universitaria, C. P. 58030, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. Electronic address: [Email]
Bacteria rely on chemical communication to sense the environment and to retrieve information on their population densities. Accordingly, a vast repertoire of molecules is released, which synchronizes expression of genes, coordinates behavior through a process termed quorum-sensing (QS), and determines the relationships with eukaryotic species. Already identified QS molecules from Gram negative bacteria can be grouped into two main classes, N-acyl-L-homoserine lactones (AHLs) and cyclodipeptides (CDPs), with roles in biofilm formation, bacterial virulence or symbiotic interactions. Noteworthy, plants detect each of these molecules, change their own gene expression programs, re-configurate root architecture, and activate defense responses, improving in this manner their adaptation to natural and agricultural ecosystems. AHLs may act as alarm signals, pathogen and/or microbe-associated molecular patterns, whereas CDPs function as hormonal mimics for plants via their putative interactions with the auxin receptor Transport Inhibitor Response1 (TIR1). A major challenge is to identify the molecular pathways of QS-mediated crosstalk and the plant receptors and interacting proteins for AHLs, CDPs and related signals.