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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Rebecca T. Horvat, PhD, D (ABMM)(University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book describes the mechanisms in which bacteria communicate in a variety of situations. A form of communication is needed as bacteria respond to their environment, and this book reviews how bacteria sense change and then respond to the changes.
Purpose: The authors bring together information on bacterial communication in order to illustrate the variety of molecular mechanisms used to respond to environmental changes. Much has changed in the last few years as more information has become available. The presentation of what is currently known about bacterial sensing will allow scientists to harness this capacity for a number of industrial areas.
Audience: Senior scientists investigating bacterial signals are an appropriate audience. The book also might be helpful to graduate students beginning a career in this field. All of the authors are experts in very specific areas of bacterial communication.
Features: The first chapter sets the stage by demonstrating the mechanisms that bacteria use to communicate. It also shows how this communication responds to environmental changes. As single-celled organisms, bacteria need to sense their surroundings quickly and then respond rapidly in order to survive. These molecular responses allow bacteria to sense an environment that may be hostile or an environment that provides nutrients. Most of this rapid communication is by chemical interactions. In this way, bacteria can sense and move toward environments that provide food such as carbohydrates. In other instances, bacteria must sense when to bind to a host in order to survive. Without binding, the bacteria may be washed away or destroyed by host responses. An understanding of these bacterial responses is very helpful as bacteria are found in many processes such as those used for food products, fuels, and medicines. This information can make these processes more productive or safer.
Assessment: This book is helpful for scientists working in the field of bacterial interactions. Bacterial communication is crucial to the survival of bacterial communities. Understanding these molecular signals can also lead to control of bacteria during infection or during industrial processing.