3 Things to Know Before Measuring Bacterial Growth with OD600
One of the most important things to know when working with bacteria is how to measure growth. After all, you can’t manage what you can’t measure! There are a few different methods for measuring bacterial growth, but one of the most common is measuring the optical density (OD) at 600nm wavelength, or od600. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about using OD600 to measure bacterial growth.
How OD600 Works
The principle behind OD600 is simple: the more bacteria there are in a sample, the more light will be absorbed. Thus, by measuring the amount of light that’s absorbed in 600nm wavelength, we can indirectly measure the number of bacteria in a sample.
- To measure OD600, you simply take a sample of your bacteria culture and Dilute it into fresh media.
- Then, you take a reading of the absorbance of light at 600nm wavelength using a spectrophotometer.
- Finally, you calculate the number of colonies present in the culture using the formula: Number of colonies = (OD600 x dilution factor x 1000)/volume plated.
Why Use OD600?
So why use OD600 specifically? There are actually a few reasons:
- First of all, 600nm is within the “optimal growth range” for most bacteria, so measuring at this wavelength will give you an accurate reading of bacterial density.
- Additionally, it’s relatively easy to find spectrophotometers that can take readings at 600nm wavelength; most lab-grade spectrophotometers will be able to do this without any issue.
- Finally, OD600 readings are logarithmic; that is, a two-fold increase in absorbance (from 0.2 to 0.4) corresponds to a 10-fold increase in cell density. This makes it easy to compare growth rates between different cultures.
Other fields of applications
- It can be used to estimate the cell count of a culture or to determine the efficiency of antibacterial treatments.
- Additionally, changes in OD600 can be used to monitor trends in gene expression or to identify changes in the environment that may be affecting the bacteria.
In all cases, measuring the optical density of a bacterial culture can provide valuable information about the health and activity of the bacteria.
In summary, OD600 is an easy and accurate way to measure bacterial growth rates. By taking a sample of your culture and Diluting it into fresh media, you can take an absorbance reading at 600nm wavelength using a spectrophotometer and then calculate the number of colonies present in the culture using the formula above.
Keep in mind that 600nm falls within the “optimal growth range” for most bacteria, so this method will give you an accurate reading of bacterial density.