The mechanisms of marine bacterial interactions
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Bacteria are found in numerous habitats within the vast marine realm. Many marine bacteria live together as a biofilm which allows them to closely interact and intimately influence each other‟s lives, mainly by the production of extracellular compounds such as antibiotics and exopolysaccharides. Coordination of the biofilm and communication between bacteria is controlled by a mechanism known as quorum sensing in which signal molecules called autoinducers are released and detected, resulting in an alteration of behaviour. These activities ultimately have implications on other organisms; controlling populations of invertebrates and algae, and affecting the health of eukaryotes, a major cause for concern in coral reefs worldwide. This paper reviews the interactions amongst bacterial species and the mechanisms directing them. It briefly discusses their effect on eukaryotes and hints at the increasing importance of understanding interactions between coral associated bacteria, and the mechanisms of bacterial infection in corals.
Phillips, G. (2010) 'The mechanisms of marine bacterial interactions', The Plymouth Student Scientist, p. 255-265.