Whitely, M. et al., 2017. Nature

Progress in and promise of bacterial quorum sensing research

Marvin Whitely, Stephen P. Diggle and E. Peter Greenberg
16 November 2017.  Nature 551: 313-320; doi: 10.1038/nature24624


This Review highlights how we can build upon the relatively new and rapidly developing field of research into bacterial quorum sensing (QS). We now have a depth of knowledge about how bacteria use QS signals to communicate with each other and to coordinate their activities. In recent years there have been extraordinary advances in our understanding of the genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and signal diversity of QS. We are beginning to understand the connections between QS and bacterial sociality. This foundation places us at the beginning of a new era in which researchers will be able to work towards new medicines to treat devastating infectious diseases, and use bacteria to understand the biology of sociality.


Whiteley, M., S. P. Diggle and E. P. Greenberg (2017). “Progress in and promise of bacterial quorum sensing research.” Nature 551: 313.

Outside Links



In this Review, there is an error in Fig. 1b, in which the carboxyl group of diffusible signalling factor methyl dodecenoic acid (compound number 6) was inadvertently omitted. The original figure has been corrected online. In addition, the chemical name of this compound has been changed from ‘methyl dodecenoic acid’ to ‘11-methyl-cis-dodecenoic acid’ in the legend to Fig. 1b. The Supplementary Information to this Corrigendum contains the original Fig. 1b, for transparency. The authors thank the reader for bringing these errors to their attention, and apologise for any confusion caused.