The purpose of this project is to create an automated method using MATLab to count the number of bacterial colonies on an agar plate, from an image of the plate. Counting the number of colonies on an agar plate is an extremely common activity in microbiology labs for medical, pharmacological, and agricultural uses. Currently, colony counting is done mostly manually, because devices made for automatic counting are expensive and not ideal for the user. For this project, the Hough Transform is utilized to filter the images, and our MATLab script is implemented to ultimately output a colony count with 92% accuracy. Images of the agar plates were taken under differing lighting conditions, for 20 combinations of agar types and bacteria species; this gave a large data set to base the accuracy claim off of.
Our paper can be found here: Marlin and Starr 2017