Modelling the individual cell lag phase. Isolating single cells: protocol development

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2003;37(1):26-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1472-765x.2003.01340.x.


Aims: To develop a protocol to isolate single cells in wells of a microtitre plate, having a high certainty of individual cells, combined with a sufficient yield.

Methods and results: Single cells were obtained using 1/2 dilution series in microtitre plates. Seventy-two Lactococcus lactis dilution series were checked by plate counting. When the last five columns of the plates were observed, the chance of having one single cell was 80%, while the yield was 75 wells containing cells. A simulation model confirmed these results. This method was compared with the commonly applied method.

Conclusions: This method makes it possible to combine a higher chance of having one cell in a microtitre well with a slightly higher yield.

Significance and impact of the study: A tool is developed to isolate single cells to provide a suitable base for investigating and modelling the individual cell lag phase.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Culture Media
  • Food Industry / methods
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / cytology
  • Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development
  • Listeria monocytogenes / isolation & purification*
  • Models, Biological


  • Culture Media