Production of viable cultures of flavobacterium psychrophilum: Approach and control

Christian Michel, Dolores Baxa, Ronald Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Although the fish pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a major source of concern in salmonid hatcheries, few studies have been conducted on its pathogenicity. Difficulties are often experienced when trying to control or quantify standard procedures for in vitro culture of the bacterium. Plate enumeration and counting chamber enumeration combined with epifluorescent microscopy with fluorescent dyes determined that no more than 25% of the bacterial cells present in the cultures were able to produce colonies on agar media. This was strongly dependent upon different medium components. Tryptone-enriched Anacker and Ordal medium proved more suitable than tryptone-yeast extract-salts with skimmed milk. Adding horse serum and trace elements in controlled proportions offered the most reproducible results. Viable but nonculturable forms were apparently not responsible for the difficulties in production of F. psychrophilum, but the cells were highly susceptible to osmotic conditions. Improvements in the media and careful handling of the bacteria in isotonic suspension media resulted in predictable production of viable bacteria and allowed an absorbance/colony-forming-units relation curve to be established.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Bacterial growth
  • Flavobacterium psychrophilum
  • Microbial nutrition
  • Viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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