N-Acylhomoserine lactone-dependent cell-to-cell communication and social behavior in the genus Serratia

Jun Rong Wei, Hsin Chih Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Members of the genus Serratia are increasingly responsible for nosocomial infections, the treatment of which may be complicated by the appearance of multi-antibiotic-resistant strains. Some but not all Serratia strains and species produce N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs), and possess luxR and luxI homologous genes. Phylogenetic comparisons have provided evidence for the lateral transfer of these quorum-sensing systems, and in at least one strain of S. marcescens, transfer via a complex transposon has been experimentally demonstrated. AHL-dependent quorum sensing in Serratia controls population surface migration, biofilm development, the biosynthesis of a carbapenem antibiotic and production of the red pigment, prodigiosin. Serratia also possesses LuxS and produces autoinducer-2 (AI-2) which appears to function as a second quorum-sensing system controlling many of the same phenotypes as the LuxR/AHL systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Microbiology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 06 04 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • LuxS
  • Multicellular behavior
  • N-Acyl-homoserine lactone
  • Pathogenicity
  • Quorum sensing
  • Serratia


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