Maximum Likelihood based comparison of the specific growth rates for P. aeruginosa and four mutator strains

Kirsten Riber Philipsen, Lasse Engbo Christiansen, Lotte Frigaard Mandsberg, Oana Ciufo, Henrik Madsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The specific growth rate for P. aeruginosa and four mutator strains mutT, mutY, mutM and mutY–mutM is estimated by a suggested Maximum Likelihood, ML, method which takes the autocorrelation of the observation into account. For each bacteria strain, six wells of optical density, OD, measurements are used for parameter estimation. The data is log-transformed such that a linear model can be applied. The transformation changes the variance structure, and hence an OD-dependent variance is implemented in the model. The autocorrelation in the data is demonstrated, and a correlation model with an exponentially decaying function of the time between observations is suggested. A model with a full covariance structure containing OD-dependent variance and an autocorrelation structure is compared to a model with variance only and with no variance or correlation implemented. It is shown that the model that best describes data is a model taking into account the full covariance structure. An inference study is made in order to determine whether the growth rate of the five bacteria strains is the same. After applying a likelihood-ratio test to models with a full covariance structure, it is concluded that the specific growth rate is the same for all bacteria strains. This study highlights the importance of carrying out an explorative examination of residuals in order to make a correct parametrization of a model including the covariance structure. The ML method is shown to be a strong tool as it enables estimation of covariance parameters along with the other model parameters and it makes way for strong statistical tools for inference studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)551-557
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Maximum Likelihood
    • Parameter estimation
    • Specific growth rate
    • Bacterial growth
    • Likelihood-ratio test


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