* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received July 9, 2004
In developing bacterial populations many essential processes, such as division, genetic transformation, sporulation, and synthesis of antibiotics and secondary metabolites, are regulated by intercellular communication mediated by secretion of signaling molecules, such as homoserine lactones and peptides. Another intercellular communication type, namely a physical contact between cells (cell aggregation), plays a key role in formation of biofilms or cellular consortia and in cell proliferation under unfavorable conditions. The mechanisms involved in these two types of bacterial communication are discussed in this review.
KEY WORDS: intercellular interaction, bacteria, pheromone, aggregation