viable counts of soil bacteria?

Larry D. Boyd larboyd at
Fri Feb 26 16:28:59 EST 1999

Why not a variation on the old standard plate count modifying the media to
select what ever group of bugs you want to grow out.  You could use a method
based on either water/wastewater or dairy products. (See the Standard
methods books for those exams), you might start out with a weighed soil
sample and use a water or dairy dilution bottle and then a simple pour plate
and count 'em.

Check out a soil micro book there may be standard tests for soil microbial
density, I never took soil micro so am not certain.  In any event it should
be simple to do a simple dilution pour plate method to estimate microbial

Larry D. Boyd, CLS

khurst wrote:

> Hello,
> I am designing a module on microbial ecology for an intro micro class. I
> would like to know some reasonable viable counts of soil bacteria in
> agricultural soils. The particular species I am interested in are:
> Rhizobium/Bradyrhizobium, Azotobacter, Nitrosomonas, Nitrobacter, and
> Paracoccus denitrificans. Exact numbers are not required, I just want to
> be in the right neighborhood.
> thanks very much
> Karen Hurst
> khurst at

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