The use of analysis of variance (ANOVA) in applied microbiology

Richard A. Armstrong, Anthony Hilton

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperArticle


Experiments combining different groups or factors and which use ANOVA are a powerful method of investigation in applied microbiology. ANOVA enables not only the effect of individual factors to be estimated but also their interactions; information which cannot be obtained readily when factors are investigated separately. In addition, combining different treatments or factors in a single experiment is more efficient and often reduces the number of replications required to estimate treatment effects adequately. Because of the treatment combinations used in a factorial experiment, the DF of the error term in the ANOVA is a more important indicator of the ‘power’ of the experiment than the number of replicates. A good method is to ensure, where possible, that sufficient replication is present to achieve 15 DF for each error term of the ANOVA. Finally, it is important to consider the design of the experiment because this determines the appropriate ANOVA to use. Some of the most common experimental designs used in the biosciences and their relevant ANOVAs are discussed by. If there is doubt about which ANOVA to use, the researcher should seek advice from a statistician with experience of research in applied microbiology.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationMicrobiologist
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • experiments
  • applied microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of analysis of variance (ANOVA) in applied microbiology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this