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Title: Quorum sensing in the Vibrio fischeri-Euprymna scolopes symbiosis 
Author: Lupp, Claudia
Date: 2003-12
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Citation: Lupp, Claudia (2003) Quorum sensing in the Vibrio fischeri-Euprymna scolopes symbiosis. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai'i, United States -- Hawaii.
Abstract: Quorum sensing is a cell density-dependent bacterial gene regulatory mechanism used for the expression of colonization-related genes. The symbiotic relationship between the luminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri and the Hawaiian bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes serves as a model system to study the molecular processes underlying bacterial colonization. This system is especially well-suited for the investigation of the impact of quorum sensing on colonization because (i) it is an easily accessible, natural, two-species colonization model, and (ii) quorum sensing regulates luminescence expression in V. fischeri, which allows the non-invasive detection of quorum-sensing activity both in culture and in symbiosis. While the impact of one of V. fischeri's quorum-sensing systems, lux, on luminescence expression and symbiotic competence has been extensively studied, little was known about other putative systems. The results of this study demonstrate that the V. fischeri ain system is essential for both maximal luminescence expression and symbiotic competence. The ain system predominantly induces luminescence expression at intermediate cell densities, which occur in culture, while the lux system is responsible for luminescence expression at the high cell densities found in symbiosis, suggesting the sequential induction of luminescence gene expression by these two systems. Furthermore, the ain quorum sensing system is important for the processes underlying colonization initiation, while the impact of the lux system is apparent only in later stages of the symbiosis, indicating distinct functions of these two systems during the colonization process. A global transcriptome. analysis of quorum-sensing mutants revealed that ain quorum sensing represses motility gene expression, providing a likely explanation for the initiation defect. Although it has been known that many bacterial species possess multiple quorum-sensing systems, this is the first study demonstrating that two quorum-sensing systems are employed to specifically regulate functions important at distinct cell densities occurring during the colonization process.
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Keywords: Quorum sensing, Symbiosis, Vibrio fischeri, Euprymna scolopes, Luminescence, Microbiology

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