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Appl Microbiol. Feb 1973; 25(2): 244–252.
PMCID: PMC380780

Spiral Plate Method for Bacterial Determination


A method is described for determining the number of bacteria in a solution by the use of a machine which deposits a known volume of sample on a rotating agar plate in an ever decreasing amount in the form of an Archimedes spiral. After the sample is incubated, different colony densities are apparent on the surface of the plate. A modified counting grid is described which relates area of the plate of volume of sample. By counting an appropriate area of the plate, the number of bacteria in the sample is estimated. This method was compared to the pour plate procedure with the use of pure and mixed cultures in water and milk. The results did not demonstrate a significant difference in variance between duplicates at the α = 0.01 level when concentrations of 600 to 12 × 105 bacteria per ml were used, but the spiral plate method gave counts that were higher than counts obtained by the pour plate method. The time and materials required for this method are substantially less than those required for the conventional aerobic pour plate procedure.

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Selected References

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  • Trotman RE. The automatic spreading of bacterial culture over a solid agar plate. J Appl Bacteriol. 1971 Sep;34(3):615–616. [PubMed]
  • VAN Soestbergen AA, Lee CH. Pour plates or streak plates? Appl Microbiol. 1969 Dec;18(6):1092–1093. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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