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Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Monday, April 18, 2000
Contact: Brian Sunkel
  Biolog, Inc.
  (510) 785-2564 ext. 324
System for Microbial Community Analysis

Hayward, CA - Biolog, Inc. has developed an automated system for fingerprinting and tracking mixed cultures of microbes from a variety of environmental samples. The Release 4.01C MicroStation™ and MicroLog 3E allow the laboratorian to easily perform microbial ecological analysis on soil, water, and other samples. When the MicroLog Systems are used in conjunction with the Biolog GN2, MT2, EcoPlate, and MicroPlates™, microbial community analysis and ecological studies can be performed on virtually any environmental sample. Biolog MicroPlates monitor cell respiration. When a cell can utilize a nutrient present in one of the 96 wells of the MicroPlate the organism will begin to respire creating NADH. The production of NADH by the cells reduces a tetrazolium dye used in Biolog's patented redox chemistry. The microbes within the community will create characteristic patterns within the wells of the MicroPlate. These patterns are monitored over several days, and evaluated using Biolog software.

Microbial communities provide useful data for studying both applied and basic environmental events. The Biolog EcoPlate was created specifically for community analysis and microbial ecological studies. It was designed at the request of a group of microbial ecologists that wanted more data replicates than the Biolog GN MicroPlate provided. Microorganisms are present in virtually all environments and are typically the first organisms to react to chemical and physical changes in the environment. Because they are at the bottom of the food chain, changes in microbial communities are often a precursor to changes in the health and viability of the environment as a whole.

Community analysis using the Biolog MicroPlates, was originally described in 1991 by J. Garland and A. Mills. These researchers found that by inoculating Biolog GN MicroPlates with a mixed culture of microorganisms and measuring the community fingerprint over time, they could ascertain characteristics about that community of microbes. This approach called community-level physiological profiling has been demonstrated to be effective at distinguishing spatial and temporal changes in microbial communities. In applied ecological research, the MicroPlates are used as both an assay of the stability of a normal population and to detect and assess changes based upon a variable introduced to the environment.

Studies demonstrating the utility of the Biolog System and MicroPlates in detecting population change have been done in soil, water, wastewater, activated sludge, compost, and industrial waste. The utility of the information using Biolog technology to analyze microbial communities has been documented in over 500 publications. A list of these publications is posted in the Bibliography section of Biolog's website,

The MicroLog 3E is designed specifically for microbial ecology analysis. The MicroStation allows the laboratorian to also automatically identify organisms isolated. The MicroStation accomplishes this by interfacing to Biolog's database of over 1,400 species of bacteria and yeast.

For more information please call Biolog, Inc. at 800-284-4949.