Robust estimation of bacterial cell count from optical density

Interlab Study Contributors iGEM, Jacob Beal, Natalie G. Farny, Traci Haddock-Angelli, Vinoo Selvarajah, Geoff S. Baldwin, Russell Buckley-Taylor, Markus Gershater, Daisuke Kiga, John Marken, Vishal Sanchania, Abigail Sison, Christopher T. Workman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Optical density (OD) is widely used to estimate the density of cells in liquid culture, but cannot be compared between instruments without a standardized calibration protocol and is challenging to relate to actual cell count. We address this with an interlaboratory study comparing three simple, low-cost, and highly accessible OD calibration protocols across 244 laboratories, applied to eight strains of constitutive GFP-expressing E. coli. Based on our results, we recommend calibrating OD to estimated cell count using serial dilution of silica microspheres, which produces highly precise calibration (95.5% of residuals  
Original languageEnglish
Article number512
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume3
Issue number1
Number of pages29
ISSN2399-3642
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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