General calibration of microbial growth in microplate readers

Kieran Stevenson, Alexander McVey, Ivan B. N. Clark, Peter Swain, Teuta Pilizota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical density (OD) measurements of microbial growth are one of the most common techniques used in microbiology, with applications ranging from studies of antibiotic efficacy to investigations of growth under different nutritional or stress environments, to characterization of different mutant strains, including those harbouring synthetic circuits. OD measurements are performed under the assumption that the OD value obtained is proportional to the cell number, i.e. the concentration of the sample. However, the assumption holds true in a limited range of conditions and calibration techniques that determine that range are currently missing. Here we present a set of calibration procedures and considerations that are necessary to successfully estimate the cell concentration from OD measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38828
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2016


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