Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne pH and Growth
Name: Christina
Status: Other
Grade:  Other
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: United Kingdom
Date: Fall 2010

Why does a low pH prevent the growth of certain micro-organisms?

The growth and survival of micro-organisms, that is, the various meabolic functions, frequently depend upon the acidity of growth environment. The pH = - log(H+) = log1/(H+) measures the acidity. Often the survival of the micro-organism is very sensitive to that parameter. Various functions are retarded (or accelerated) by a change in pH.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory