Serial Dilution

Serial Dilution experiment 


Serial Dilution

  • Place 9cm3 of distilled water into test tubes with bungs.
  • Place 1cm3 of the bacterial sample in the first tube and mix.
  • Transfer 1cm3 of solution from the first tube into the next tube and mix, repeat for the remaining tubes.
  • Transfer 1cm3 of a sample from each tube onto a sterile nutrient agar plate.
  • Use a sterile spreader to spread the sample around each plate.
  • Repeat this so there is 3 plates per dilution (allows calculation of an average number of colonies)
  • Seal with tape but not air tight (around the plate) this prevents growth of anaerobic bacteria.
  • Incubate at 25'C for 24hours, don't incubate at 37'C as this is optimum for human pathogenic bacteria.
  • Count number of colonies on each plate.
  • Multiply the number of colonies by the diultion factor to give the number of bacteria in the original sample. 
1 of 2

Serial Dilution

Serial diultion = a viable count that assumes a single bacterial cell will reproduce to form a  colony that can be seen and counted. 

Inaccuracies with experiment:

  • Clumping - can lead to an underestimation
  • Every dilution decrease accuracy 
  • Count the lowest dilution with no clumping 
2 of 2


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Microbiology and fungi resources »