autoinducer

noun au·to·in·duc·er \ ˌȯ-tō-ˌin-ˈd(y)ü-sər \

Definition of autoinducer

plural autoinducers
microbiology
:a molecule produced and secreted by bacteria that when present at a threshold concentration in a population of bacteria signals genetic expression in the same bacteria from which it was produced
  • When a crowd of bacteria and their autoinducers become dense enough, the lights in all the bacteria switch on at once.
  • —Wendy OrentDiscoverJuly/August 2009
  • The synchronous response of bacterial populations to autoinducers confers a form of multicellularity to bacteria.
  • —Andrew Camilli and Bonnie L. BasslerScience24 Feb. 2006
Note: Autoinducers are involved in the quorum sensing used by some bacteria to detect their population density and coordinate group actions (such as the formation of biofilms).

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First Known Use of autoinducer

1968


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