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N-acyl homoserine lactones are bacterial signalling molecules involved in regulating diverse metabolic functions, particularly those relating to virulence, in concert with cell density. Each aspect of the signalling pathway, from production and recognition of the signal to expression of the target genes, offers a potential opportunity for exploitation. Attention is now focusing on the development of novel methods for bacterial enumeration, modulation of bacterial virulence and flexible, coordinated expression of heterologous genes through the use of N-acyl-homoserine-lactone-based systems.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Biotechnol

Publication Date





458 - 464


Bacteria, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Homoserine, Lactones, Signal Transduction