A simple and fast method for determining colony forming units

S. Sieuwerts, F.A.M. de Bok, E. Mols, W.M. de Vos, J.E.T. van Hylckama Vlieg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-278
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • lactic-acid bacteria
  • plate method
  • probes
  • wine

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