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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2008 Oct;47(4):275-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2008.02417.x.

A simple and fast method for determining colony forming units.

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1
Top Institute Food and Nutrition, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

AIMS:

To develop a flexible and fast colony forming unit quantification method that can be operated in a standard microbiology laboratory.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

A miniaturized plating method is reported where droplets of bacterial cultures are spotted on agar plates. Subsequently, minicolony spots are imaged with a digital camera and quantified using a dedicated plug-in developed for the freeware program IMAGEJ. A comparison between conventional and minicolony plating of industrial micro-organisms including lactic acid bacteria, Eschericha coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae showed that there was no significant difference in the results obtained with the methods.

CONCLUSIONS:

The presented method allows downscaling of plating by 100-fold, is flexible, easy-to-use and is more labour-efficient and cost-efficient than conventional plating methods.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The method can be used for rapid assessment of viable counts of micro-organisms similar to conventional plating using standard laboratory equipment. It is faster and cheaper than conventional plating methods.

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