Logo of aemPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalAEM ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
Appl Environ Microbiol. Sep 1982; 44(3): 695–700.
PMCID: PMC242078

Lognormal Distribution of Epiphytic Bacterial Populations on Leaf Surfaces


Total populations of epiphytic bacteria and selected components thereof were determined on sets of 24 to 36 individual leaves (corn, rye) or leaflets (snap bean, soybean, tomato) of field-grown plants by washing and dilution plating. In general, levels of component populations (e.g., bacteria that are ice nucleation active) were quantitatively more variable from leaf to leaf within a set than were total epiphytic bacterial populations. Populations of a given component frequently varied by a factor of 100 to 1,000 within a set of leaves. Total bacterial populations usually varied by a factor of about 10. For each set of leaves, total and component epiphytic bacterial populations were found to approximate a lognormal distribution by the Shapiro-Wilk test for normality. Due to the lognormal distribution of epiphytic bacterial populations, estimates of population size based on the common practice of using bulked samples (wherein several leaves are washed together) will overestimate the population median by a factor of approximately 1.15σ2. From the known probability distribution of bacterial populations, the frequency with which a given bacterial population size is met or exceeded on individual leaves can be estimated. If the bacterial component is phytopathogenic, the frequency estimates could be used to relate quantitatively pathogen populations and disease incidence.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (834K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • KING EO, WARD MK, RANEY DE. Two simple media for the demonstration of pyocyanin and fluorescin. J Lab Clin Med. 1954 Aug;44(2):301–307. [PubMed]
  • Lindow SE, Arny DC, Upper CD. Distribution of ice nucleation-active bacteria on plants in nature. Appl Environ Microbiol. 1978 Dec;36(6):831–838. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Applied and Environmental Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...