Bacteria use a chemical communication process called quorum sensing to control transitions between individual and group behaviors. In the bacteria known as Vibrio harveyi, two master “switches” of gene regulation, or transcription factors, coordinate the quorum-sensing response.The researchers found that one of the regulators, LuxR, acts as a sort of master switch that regulates quorum-sensing, while the other regulator, AphA, does the fine-tuning. Together the two regulators generate a precise pattern of activity as bacteria transition from acting as individuals to acting as a group.
Julia C. van Kessel, Steven T. Rutherford, Yi Shao, Alan F. Utria, and Bonnie L. Bassler. The master regulators AphA and LuxR control the Vibrio harveyi quorum-sensing regulon: analysis of their individual and combined effects
J. Bacteriol. published 30 November 2012, 10.1128/JB.01998–12