A previous post shows microbes communicating well enough to form structures and function as a multicellular creature. Many microbes demonstrate an elaborate languageof signals which elicit a wide range of other behaviors.Messages between microbes often take the form of secreted chemicals.
One chemical message tells others that there is not much food in a particular location; those who “hear” it go in other directions.
Individual microbes send out signals that communicate their presence, and when a certain number have signaled they launch various group activities. This is called “quorum sensing.” For example, some colonies of bacteria light up when enough bacteria are present. Similarly, they defend each other from antibiotics, grow food together, and eat each other’s waste.