Document Type


Date of Original Version



Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Certain bacteria use cell-to-cell chemical communication to coordinate community-wide phenotypic expression, including swarming motility, antibiotic biosynthesis, and biofilm production. Here we present a marine gram-positive bacterium that secretes secondary metabolites capable of quenching quorum sensing-controlled behaviors in several gram-negative reporter strains. Isolate C42, a Halobacillus salinus strain obtained from a sea grass sample, inhibits bioluminescence production by Vibrio harveyi in cocultivation experiments. With the use of bioassay-guided fractionation, two phenethylamide metabolites were identified as the active agents. The compounds additionally inhibit quorum sensing-regulated violacein biosynthesis by Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 and green fluorescent protein production by Escherichia coli JB525. Bacterial growth was unaffected at concentrations below 200 μg/ml. Evidence is presented that these nontoxic metabolites may act as antagonists of bacterial quorum sensing by competing with N-acyl homoserine lactones for receptor binding.