Autoinducer 2 (AI-2) is a ubiquitous metabolite but, instead of acting as a “universal signal,” relatively few phenotypes have been associated with it, and many scientists believe AI-2 is often a metabolic byproduct rather than a signal. Here, the aim is to present evidence that AI-2 influences both biofilm formation and motility (swarming and chemotaxis), using Escherichia coli as the model system, to establish AI-2 as a true signal with an important physiological role in this bacterium. In addition, AI-2 signaling is compared to the other primary signal of E. coli, indole, and it is shown that they have opposite effects on biofilm formation and virulence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)