More than simply microbial growth curves

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Ji-Dong Gu


Bacterial growth is a very important piece of information in a wide range of investigation and, in most of the time the data are simply shown directly without any further processing. In a single factor investigation without comparative information to be extracted, this simple approach can be used together with other data to form a comprehensive set of results. When comparison is involved, such direct showing of bacterial growth curves without processing cannot warrant a meaningful comparison thoroughly and further processing of data is necessary. In addition, there is little, if any, quantitative data for the comparison from the display of growth curves and description of a number of curves is not a simple task, especially in a meaningful way for assimilation of the data to readers. With this in mind, I would like to remind of those who plan to show such data as growth curves for their potential publication to carry this further to generate comparative results for a much meaningful interpretation by modeling and calculation from the raw growth data over time of incubation. By calculating with existing equations, the lag phase, growth rate and the biomass can be derived from a series of growth curves for a more effective and meaningful analysis. This approach is not new, but remembrance of such available tool is more important so that research data are shown professionally and also scientifically for meaning presentation and effective assimilation.


biomass; bacterial growth curves; bacterial physiology;maximum growth rate; maximum biomass yield

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