Bacteria have developed cell-to-cell communication mechanisms, termed quorum sensing (QS), that regulate bacterial gene expression in a cell population-dependent manner. Autoinducer-2 (AI-2), a class of QS signaling molecules derived from (4S)-4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione (DPD), has been identified in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Despite considerable interest in the AI-2 QS system, the biomolecular communication used by distinct bacterial species still remains shrouded. Herein, we report the synthesis and evaluation of a new class of DPD analogues, C4-alkoxy-5-hydroxy-2,3-pentanediones, termed C4-alkoxy-HPDs. Remarkably, two of the analogues were more potent QS agonists than the natural ligand, DPD, in Vibrio harveyi. The findings presented extend insights into ligand-receptor recognition/signaling in the AI-2 mediated QS system.