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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 162584, 25 pages
Review Article

N-Acyl Homoserine Lactone-Mediated Quorum Sensing with Special Reference to Use of Quorum Quenching Bacteria in Membrane Biofouling Control

Department of Environmental Engineering, Konkuk University, Seoul 143-701, Republic of Korea

Received 2 June 2014; Revised 4 July 2014; Accepted 6 July 2014; Published 24 July 2014

Academic Editor: Bernd H. Rehm

Copyright © 2014 Harshad Lade et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Membrane biofouling remains a severe problem to be addressed in wastewater treatment systems affecting reactor performance and economy. The finding that many wastewater bacteria rely on N-acyl homoserine lactone-mediated quorum sensing to synchronize their activities essential for biofilm formations; the quenching bacterial quorum sensing suggests a promising approach for control of membrane biofouling. A variety of quorum quenching compounds of both synthetic and natural origin have been identified and found effective in inhibition of membrane biofouling with much less environmental impact than traditional antimicrobials. Work over the past few years has demonstrated that enzymatic quorum quenching mechanisms are widely conserved in several prokaryotic organisms and can be utilized as a potent tool for inhibition of membrane biofouling. Such naturally occurring bacterial quorum quenching mechanisms also play important roles in microbe-microbe interactions and have been used to develop sustainable nonantibiotic antifouling strategies. Advances in membrane fabrication and bacteria entrapment techniques have allowed the implication of such quorum quenching bacteria for better design of membrane bioreactor with improved antibiofouling efficacies. In view of this, the present paper is designed to review and discuss the recent developments in control of membrane biofouling with special emphasis on quorum quenching bacteria that are applied in membrane bioreactors.