quorum sensing


: a regulatory mechanism of bacteria that involves the release of molecules which when present at threshold concentrations signal the expression of bacterial genes controlling specific group actions (such as the formation of biofilms)

Examples of quorum sensing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s controlled by quorum sensing. Cassandra Willyard, Discover Magazine, 21 May 2014 The molecules that are the real autoinducers turn quorum sensing on. Cassandra Willyard, Discover Magazine, 21 May 2014 The migratory/hunting phase involves many segments that code for flagellum formation and genes involved in quorum sensing. Douglas Main, Discover Magazine, 2 Nov. 2011 Particularly in the latter case, scientists think that the bioluminescence is driven by quorum sensing, a form of biological signaling that allows bacteria to determine how large and concentrated their species is in an area. K.e.d. Coan, Ars Technica, 30 July 2022 This glow is triggered by quorum sensing, which is a form of cell-to-cell communication where bacteria release a chemical signal into their environment. Grrlscientist, Forbes, 11 July 2022 In this scenario, through quorum sensing, these bacteria set off a chemical glow that can become the largest display of bioluminescence on the planet. Sam Keck Scott, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 June 2022 When the density of bacteria gets high enough for their chemical signals to reach each other’s diffusional spheres of influence (about 10 micrometers from the cell surface, or 10 times its diameter), then quorum sensing takes effect. Members Of The Ocean Memory Project, Scientific American, 15 Aug. 2020 One species that relies on quorum sensing is P. aeruginosa, a nasty pathogen that infects and causes disease in plants, animals and, when an opportunity presents itself, in humans. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, 20 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quorum sensing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1994, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quorum sensing was in 1994

Dictionary Entries Near quorum sensing

Cite this Entry

“Quorum sensing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quorum%20sensing. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

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