Quantitative polymerase chain reaction for microbial growth kinetics of mixed culture system

Ada Cotto, Jessica K. Looper, Linda C. Mota, Ahjeong Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Microbial growth kinetics is often used to optimize environmental processes owing to its relation to the breakdown of substrate (contaminants). However, the quantification of bacterial populations in the environment is difficult owing to the challenges of monitoring a specific bacterial population within a diverse microbial community. Conventional methods are unable to detect and quantify the growth of individual strains separately in the mixed culture reactor. This work describes a novel quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based genomic approach to quantify each species in mixed culture and interpret its growth kinetics in the mixed system. Batch experiments were performed for both single and dual cultures of Pseudomonas putida and Escherichia coli K12 to obtain Monod kinetic parameters (µmax and Ks). The growth curves and kinetics obtained by conventional methods (i.e., dry weight measurement and absorbance reading) were compared with that obtained by qPCR assay. We anticipate that the adoption of this qPCR-based genomic assay can contribute significantly to traditional microbial kinetics, modeling practice, and the operation of bioreactors, where handling of complex mixed cultures is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1928-1935
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by The Korean Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.


  • Escherichia coli K12
  • Microbial growth
  • Monod
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Quantitative PCR (qPCR)


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