by Stan Zahler
When you streak out Your Favorite Bacterium on an appropriate agar plate, the colonies reach an expected diameter and stop growing. Why?
Corollary: If you inoculate YFB in the center of an agar plate and incubate it, it would reach its expected diameter. What do you predict would happen if you touch the tip of a sterile hair to the edge of the colony, draw it out on the agar radially, and re-incubate the plate?
Well, anything with swarming motility will fill the plate (often quite beautifully). I think one issue is more that most of our "YFBs" have been selected for good behavior on plates. It's _hard_ to get nice isolated colonies of wild Bacillus or Vibrio strains.
Posted by: Mike Gray | June 24, 2010 at 05:45 PM