Standard Article

Quorum Sensing

  1. Matthew TG Holden1,2,
  2. Stephen P Diggle1,
  3. Paul Williams1

Published Online: 21 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001426.pub2



How to Cite

Holden, M. T., Diggle, S. P. and Williams, P. 2007. Quorum Sensing. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

  2. 2

    The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 DEC 2007


Many bacterial processes are dependent on the presence of a population of cells. Quorum sensing is a term that has been coined to describe the ability of bacteria to sense the population of bacteria around them. Bacteria achieve this by detecting the concentration of signalling molecules that they secrete into the surrounding environment.


  • communication;
  • signalling;
  • bacteria;
  • gene regulation