Bacterial Quantification by Culture: Count bacteria with serial dilution

Bacterial Quantification by Culture: Count bacteria with serial dilution
Time to complete course: 30 min.

About the Bacterial Quantification by Culture: Count bacteria with serial dilution Virtual Lab Simulation

Did you know that it’s possible to count bacteria with your naked eye? In this simulation, you will learn how to quantify bacteria using the process of serial dilution.

Find a novel antibiotic compound

Your colleague has just returned from an expedition to the Amazon rainforest, and has brought back a promising sample; a fungus that seems to inhibit bacterial growth. Your mission is to quantify the effect of this antibiotic compound on bacterial growth. But, you will only be able to succeed if you manage to combine smart experimental design, some simple mathematics, and proper microbial culture techniques.

Inquiry-based approach to quantify bacteria

Figure out how to quantify the bacterial cells by inquiry-based learning. You will learn much more by trial and error, and if you are up for the challenge you will be rewarded with some extra questions. Don’t worry, your virtual assistant, Dr. One, will be ready to answer your questions and guide you through the steps needed to perform the serial dilution. Make sure you use sterile techniques to avoid contaminating your bacterial cultures!

Don’t waste time and agar plates

In a real lab, this experiment would take a week or more to complete, but in this simulation it only takes 30 minutes! Plate out countless agar plates in order to quantify the colonies from your serial dilutions, but don’t worry, not a single plate will be wasted. You will learn how to calculate the colony forming units per milliliter (cfu/mL) of your bacterial culture using a cfu calculator.

Quantify the bacterial growth

Last, you will incubate the bacterial culture with the antibiotic compound to quantify the effect of the compound on bacterial growth.

Will you be able to determine if the fungal compound can be used as a new antibiotic?

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Use the serial dilution technique to quantify the effect of a novel antibiotic compound on bacterial growth.

Techniques In Lab

  • Serial dilution
  • Colony forming unit calculation
  • Sterile technique

Learning Objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…

  • Set up a serial dilution of a bacterial culture and describe why they are used.
  • Calculate the cfu/ml from colonies counted on an agar plate, given the dilution factor and volume correction factor.
  • Set up an experiment and interpret your results.
  • Provide examples of why bacterial growth rates have to be measurable/ characterized

Screenshots of Bacterial Quantification by Culture: Count bacteria with serial dilution Virtual Lab Simulation

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