Research into Human, Animal, Plant, and Environmental Microbiomes has exploded recently and new tools are being developed to study these communities, the types of microbes present,  as well as the dynamics (stability or variability) of the communities. While metagenomic studies have revealed immense diversity, additional tools are required to understand the community structure, function, and their interaction with host environments.

Biolog has unique solutions and choices for metabolic profiling of bacterial communities, as well as individual strains of interest, including those that are anaerobic or microaerophilic.

Microbiome Analysis Using Phenotypic Profiling

  • Provides a different perspective on microbiomes based on metabolism which may predict the phenotypic behavior better than metagenomic sequencing
  • Detects changes in the relative metabolic rates of various substrates (polysaccharides, sugars, proteins, amino acids, carboxylic acids, fatty acids)
  • Detects changes in the relative sensitivity to anti-bacterials and other toxic compounds
  • May be used to examine other important aspects of microbial communities such as toxin production
  • Is easy to perform in 96 well plates pre-coated with metabolic substrates or inhibitory chemicals

Anaerobic Community Analysis

AN (Anaerobic) MicroPlates:

  • A 96 well plate containing 95 carbon sources specifically selected for anaerobic bacteria using a colorimetric redox dye.
  • Plates can be read in the OmniLog instrument which provides important advantages for throughput, kinetics, and accessing Biolog data analysis software. Plates can also be read on the MicroStation or other microplate readers
  • Results are obtained in 24 hours or less, usually within 8 hours

Phenotype MicroArray MicroPlates:

  • Collection of 20 defined plates representing 1920 phenotypic tests to investigate aspects of cellular metabolism, as well as sensitivity to a broad range of microbial inhibitors
  • In this method, these assays are growth-based and use turbidity rather than dye formation. Assays take typically 2 to 4 days depending on the specific anaerobe and their growth rate
  • The plates can be read in a microplate reader (OD-750) to measure cell density in the wells

Both of the above options require the use of an anaerobic chamber for inoculating the MicroPlates.

Aerobic Community Analysis


  • Used by Microbial Ecologists for more than 25 years to assess the diversity of microbial communities. The EcoPlate contains 31 different carbon sources, repeated 3 times. The plate can be used for 3 different samples – or 1 sample in triplicate.

GEN III MicroPlate

  • Used for identification of more than 1,500 aerobic bacterial species. It contains 71 carbon source and 23 chemical sensitivity tests chosen to optimally differentiate aerobic bacteria. It can also be used to assess microbial community function.

Phenotype MicroArray Plates

  • Collection of 20 defined plates representing 1920 phenotypic tests to investigate aspects of cellular metabolism, as well as sensitivity to a broad range of microbial inhibitors. In addition to profiling carbon metabolism, these plates also offer the option to profile nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur metabolism.
  • When used with the appropriate redox dye, optimal results are achieved using an OmniLog (incubator, automation, reader) and associated software


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