Quorum sensing is almost always regarded as a population density effect in three-dimensional bulk samples of bacteria. Here we create two-dimensional samples of Vibrio fischeri cells adhered onto glass surfaces to examine the effect of local population densities on quorum sensing. This is done by measuring the luminescent response. The 2-D bacterial populations enable us to simultaneously account for time and distance effects on quorum sensing, which were previously very challenging to access in typical three-dimensional bulk samples. Thus, we are able to consider quorum sensing in terms of signal diffusion. A diffusion model of quorum sensing signals guides the experiments and shows that for a given cell spacing (density) and diffusion time there exists a "true quorum"- a number of cells necessary for quorum sensing. We find that quorum sensing can occur locally in 2-D surface samples and is a function of cell population density as well as signal diffusion time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry