Research Paper | Published:

Applications of Imaging Spectroscopy in Molecular Biology II. Colony Screening Based on Absorption Spectra

Bio/Technology volume 8, pages 746749 (1990) | Download Citation



Digital imaging spectroscopy has been used to obtain the grayscale spectrum of colored bacterial colonies directly from petri dishes. Up to 500 individual colony spectra can be simultaneously recorded and processed from a single plate. Spectra can be obtained in the visible to near infrared region (400nm–900nm) with lOnm resolution. Instrument response is normalized through run-time radiometric calibration such that each grayscale spectrum can be converted to the ground-state absorption spectrum of the colony. In this study, mutants of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus have been differentiated by the absorption spectra of their pigment-protein complexes. This imaging technique is applicable to chro mogenic systems in which colony and/or media color (e.g. indicator plates) provides a quantitative indicator of gene expression.

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Author notes

    • Douglas C. Youvan

    Corresponding author.


  1. Department of Chemistry, Rm 56-212, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.

    • Adam P. Arkin
    • , Ellen R. Goldman
    • , Christine A. Goddard
    • , William J. Coleman
    •  & Douglas C. Youvan
  2. Graduate Program in Applied Biological Sciences.

    • Steven J. Robles
  3. Current Address: Molecular Dynamics, 240 Santa Ana Ct., Sunnyvale, CA 94086.

    • Mary M. Yang


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