quorum sensing

noun

Definition of 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 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, "The Ocean Carries 'Memories' of SARS-CoV-2," 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, "The immune system listens in on bacteria signaling to each other," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quorum sensing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of quorum sensing

1994, in the meaning defined above

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Cite this Entry

“Quorum sensing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quorum%20sensing. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

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