Bacteria Build Communities Using Chemical Signals Comparable to Radio Waves; UCLA-Led Study Could Have Implications for Medical and Sustainability Research

The thought of bacteria joining together to form a socially organized community capable of cooperation, competition, and sophisticated communication might at first seem like the stuff of science fiction. But biofilm communities have important implications for human health, from causing illness to aiding digestion. And they play a role in a range of emerging technologies meant to protect the environment and generate clean energy. New UCLA-led research could give scientists insights that will help them cultivate useful microbes or clear dangerous ones from surfaces where biofilms have formed--including on tissues and organs in the human body. The study, published online on January 25, 2022 in PNAS, describes how, when biofilms form, bacteria communicate with their descendants using a chemical signal analogous to radio transmissions. The article is titled “Broadcasting of Amplitude- and Frequency-Modulated c-di-GMP Signals Facilitates Cooperative Surface Commitment in Bacterial Lineages.”

Login Or Register To Read Full Story