autoinducer

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

Definition of autoinducer

plural

autoinducers

microbiology

  1. :  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 Orent, Discover, July/August 2009 The synchronous response of bacterial populations to autoinducers confers a form of multicellularity to bacteria. — Andrew Camilli and Bonnie L. Bassler, Science, 24 Feb. 2006 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).

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

1968

First Known Use of autoinducer

1968


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up autoinducer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!