Bacteria are the paradigm for unicellular life, yet they also exhibit elaborate coordinated behaviors that often defy unicellularity. Research over the past two decades has revealed that a wide range of bacteria can communicate by diverse mechanisms. In most cases these microbial conversations occur through the exchange of diffusible signals, although there are also clear examples of contact-dependent communication. Many microbes use these signaling mechanisms to monitor and respond to population density, a process often described as quorum sensing. Interbacterial communication is not however restricted to quorum sensing mechanisms and there is mounting evidence that signaling can function in a range of different capacities. Communication between microorganisms has profound impacts on host interactions, as pathogens and commensals often regulate factors critical for interaction with their hosts via signal production and perception. This application requests financial support for the fifth American Society for Microbiology-sponsored conference on Cell-cell Communication in Bacteria, to be held from October 18 - 21, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Research on cell-cell communication in bacteria brings together a diversity of scientists, including microbiologists, structural biologists, systems and synthetic biologists, mathematicians, chemists, biochemists, and ecologists. Furthermore, the focus on signaling mechanisms transcends historical boundaries between organisms, and between "medical" and "non-medical" microbiology. The goal of the CCCB conference is to provide a unique forum for the discussion, dissemination and exchange of new information and ideas among researchers working within this rapidly developing, yet mature research area. Sessions are arranged around topics such as: signal generation and perception;signal interference as a novel therapeutic strategy;the role of signaling in development;host-pathogen interactions and signaling;systems approaches to studying signaling;the role of signaling in symbiosis and mutualism;and ecology and evolution of signaling. The goal of this conference is to act as a conduit for the exchange and synthesis of new ideas among leading US and international scientists working on bacterial communication, to foster the next generation of scientists to work in this area, and to attract other researchers (particularly those in systems and synthetic biology, microbial pathogenesis, and chemistry) to this exciting field. It is anticipated that this conference will stimulate and expand the cell-cell communication community, leading to outstanding discourse and productive new collaborations.
Communication between bacteria is recognized as an important aspect of microbiology, controlling diverse behaviors including antibiotic resistance and infection. This area of study brings together a diversity of scientists, including microbiologists, structural biologists, systems and synthetic biologists, chemists, biochemists, and ecologists. This ASM-sponsored conference entitled Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria is dedicated to exploring the state-of- the-art in this critical field. The aims of this conferenceare to bring together researchers who are investigating the chemical and physical signaling mechanisms employed by bacteria during health and disease and to move the field ahead by fostering exchange of new ideas and information.