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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1984 Oct;48(4):755-7.

Bacterial dry matter content and biomass estimations.


Approximately 20% dry-matter content appears to be an accepted standard value for bacterial cells. We have found that the dry-matter content of bacteria may be more than twice as high as generally assumed. The main reason for the low estimates seems to be that proper corrections for intercellular water have not been made when estimating the wet weight of the cells. Using three different bacterial strains, we determined a dry-matter content of cells ranging from 31 to 57%, suggesting not only that the accepted standard value is much too low but also that it is far from standard. To convert bacterial biovolume into biomass (carbon content), we suggest that 0.22 g of C cm-3 should be used as a conversion factor.

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