We use yeast as a model system for studying cellular changes in colon cancer. We spent a lot of time counting thousands of yeast colonies, a task which our trained staff found to be very laborious and prone to error. We tried some image analysis software to automate the process but it just could not accurately discriminate different colonies and was tedious to use. We were shown a ProtoCOL by a colleague and because the ProtoCOL has so much utility, yet is priced so that an academic lab can afford it; in 2009 we purchased one.
We love our ProtoCOL as it can count plates with over 2000 colonies on them, some as small as a pencil point, and it can even segregate counts according to colony size or color, which is an amazingly useful feature. ProtoCOL indicates every colony it has counted with a dot, which means we are always in full control of the final count and it saves the images automatically so we can look at them again if we need to. We didn’t think a colony counter this good existed, but it does and now we wouldn’t be without our ProtoCOL.