Acyl homoserine lactones (ahl) is a type of autoinducer found in many gram-negative bacteria. These compounds are composed of acyl chains and the amino acid, L-homoserine. The function of these types of molecules is not fully understood but they are responsible for initiating quorum sensing signaling pathways that can regulate virulence factors in pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholera, and Salmonella Typhimurium.
A remarkable discovery was made linking acyl-homoserine lactones to global warming when it was discovered that some strains could produce the compound 20% more efficiently than others due to increased exposure to environmental stressors like saltwater or high temperature.
Risks: Acyl homoserine lactones are not direct threats to human health but they have been linked to increased virulence in some pathogens. The most common risk associated with these compounds is that if too much of them accumulate, the bacteria will become tolerant and start producing more acyl chains which can lead to antibiotic resistance or environmental stressors like global warming.
Benefits: One benefit of this compound is its ability to regulate quorum sensing signaling pathways for controlling virulence factors such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholera, and Salmonella typhimurium. If we could learn how these molecules work and what causes an imbalance between production and consumption, it might help us.