Send to

Choose Destination
J Microbiol Methods. 2000 Jun;41(1):23-33.

Adaptation of E. coli cell method for micro-scale nitrate measurement with the Griess reaction in culture media.

Author information

Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology, Department of Biochemical and Microbial Technology, Ghent University, Belgium.


The E. coli cell method for nitrate measurement consists of two-steps: nitrate reduction by the E. coli cell usually under anaerobic conditions and subsequently nitrite measurement with the Griess reaction. It was found that the E. coli DSM 498k wildtype cell can reduce nitrate to nitrite under aerobic conditions. Therefore, the E. coli method for nitrate measurement was adapted to be performed under aerobic conditions in a microtiter plate. The adapted method is simpler than the original E. coli method and other nitrate methods such as those with inorganic reductants and with purified enzymes. Furthermore, it was found that for the Griess reaction the pH values of samples after addition of the Griess reagent A should be lower than 1.8 for a stable absorbance at 540 nm to be reached. It is important to add the two Griess reagents separately and to read the absorbance twice consecutively in a microtiter plate. The adapted E. coli method was successfully applied to measure the traces of nitrate in MRS and other medium components by measuring the standard curve of a dilution of each individual medium component. It was found that many organic medium components contain traces of nitrate, while none of them contain detectable nitrite. Among these, the extract of meat and yeast extract contain relatively high amounts of nitrate: 217 mg N/kg and 99 mg N/kg respectively. MRS broth contains nitrate from 0.3 to 0.6 mg N/l depending on the batch numbers of the product. The adapted E. coli can also be used for nitrate measurement in other matrices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center