A way of measuring bacterial activity? Ideas?

Lesley Robertson l.a.robertson at tnw.tudelft.nl
Mon Aug 13 04:19:49 EST 2001

"Halogen" <halo &anti spam& gen at tpg.com.au> wrote in message
news:3b761bcb at dnews.tpgi.com.au...
> Basically I have an undergraduate project to test this new idea for a
> bioreactor.
> Does anyone know a simple way of quantitatively measuring a product
> by bacteria without resorting to using equipment like HPLC?
> I've tried measuring H2S produced by sulphate reducing bacteria, but this
> difficult to work out since it's only practical to measure it as a gas and
> lot is staying dissolved in the liquid in the bioreactor.

Then why not measure the dissoved sulphide? There's colour methods and dip
sticks available (see your Merck catalogue for a start).

> I've tried using pigment produced by psuedomonas fluorescens, but this
> didn't work due to this bacteria only producing pigment under certain
> conditions.
> Any other ideas?  I'm really looking for a bacteria I can easy assay a
> metabolic product of using a colour reaction and a spectrophotometer, but
> can't seem to find a way to do this anywhere.
Nitrite production by ammonia oxidizers is easy to follow, as is ammonia
production by dissimilatory nitrate reducers.
Lesley Robertson

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