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Learning objectives

  • Identify and describe culture media for the growth of bacteria, including examples of all-purpose media, enriched, selective, differential, defined, and enrichment media

The study of microorganisms is greatly facilitated if we are able to culture them, that is, to keep reproducing populations alive under laboratory conditions. Culturing many microorganisms is challenging because of highly specific nutritional and environmental requirements and the diversity of these requirements among different species.

Nutritional requirements

The number of available media to grow bacteria is considerable. Some media are considered general all-purpose media and support growth of a large variety of organisms. A prime example of an all-purpose medium is tryptic soy broth (TSB) . Specialized media are used in the identification of bacteria and are supplemented with dyes, pH indicators, or antibiotics. One type, enriched media , contains growth factors, vitamins, and other essential nutrients to promote the growth of fastidious organisms , organisms that cannot make certain nutrients and require them to be added to the medium. When the complete chemical composition of a medium is known, it is called a chemically defined medium . For example, in EZ medium , all individual chemical components are identified and the exact amounts of each is known. In complex media , which contain extracts and digests of yeasts, meat, or plants, the precise chemical composition of the medium is not known. Amounts of individual components are undetermined and variable. Nutrient broth, tryptic soy broth, and brain heart infusion , are all examples of complex media.

Media that inhibit the growth of unwanted microorganisms and support the growth of the organism of interest by supplying nutrients and reducing competition are called selective media . An example of a selective medium is MacConkey agar . It contains bile salts and crystal violet, which interfere with the growth of many gram-positive bacteria and favor the growth of gram-negative bacteria , particularly the Enterobacteriaceae . These species are commonly named enterics, reside in the intestine, and are adapted to the presence of bile salts. The enrichment culture s foster the preferential growth of a desired microorganism that represents a fraction of the organisms present in an inoculum. For example, if we want to isolate bacteria that break down crude oil, hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria , sequential subculturing in a medium that supplies carbon only in the form of crude oil will enrich the cultures with oil-eating bacteria. The differential media make it easy to distinguish colonies of different bacteria by a change in the color of the colonies or the color of the medium. Color changes are the result of end products created by interaction of bacterial enzymes with differential substrates in the medium or, in the case of hemolytic reactions, the lysis of red blood cells in the medium. In [link] , the differential fermentation of lactose can be observed on MacConkey agar. The lactose fermenters produce acid, which turns the medium and the colonies of strong fermenters hot pink. The medium is supplemented with the pH indicator neutral red, which turns to hot pink at low pH. Selective and differential media can be combined and play an important role in the identification of bacteria by biochemical methods.

Questions & Answers

thilosysis beta oxidation us catalysed by
Tirupati Reply
Explain about enzyme transportation
Shahla Reply
Enzyme transportation
it looks reallllyyyyy coooooooollll. i love enzymes theyre so cooll and i also like protein transportation so i think it would be really cool so an enzyme transport something so ill do some research and come back to ya in that
they be ridin' dirty
what is the infectious disease process
Patience Reply
what are differences between endotoxins and exotoxins
sabote Reply
endo toxins work in the nuceus. i think
tell me if im right tho
Exotoxins are toxic substances secreted by bacteria and released outside the cell. Both gram positive and gram negative bacteria can produce and secrete exotoxins. Whereas Endotoxins are bacterial toxins consisting of lipids that are located within a cell. Only lysed gram negatives.
Remebr the Lipid A portion of LPS is what's toxic.
oh yeah. thanks
Your welcome :)
How did you learn this?
For me personally the best book is 'microbiology made ridiculously simple'
I got my basics from there and slowly added information from other sources.
thats cool! yeah i like microbiology too! especially the molecular proteins theyre sooooooooooo cool!
what are the prokaryotic
Lungu Reply
prokaraytotic is a unicellular organizm that lacks membrane bound nucleus
and whats eukaryotic
eukaryotic cell are cell which contain anuclues and organells
eukaryotes are the cells that have organells which are protected by membranes
eukaryotic is are multicellular organisms which are open nucleus.
Explain on the Francisco reddi did to prove the theory of spontaneous generation
Diana Reply
what is parasite
Abdirizack Reply
parasite are organisms feeds on a host for food and survival.e.g round worm for animal, Dodder for plant parasites.
parasite are organisms that feeds on a host for food and survival.e.g round worm for animal and mistletoe for plant parasites.
parasite are organisms that feed on their host
designing of aseptic area
Aashish Reply
I don't know
what is rickettsia
what is microbiology
Is the science that works with microorganisms.
richettsa is small microorganisms that cause disease in human like typhus; they are like viruses that can grow only inside living cells, they're transmitted by mites, ticks or lices.
what is plasmid?
plasmid is extra chromosomal body present in bacteria...which have additional genetic functions example... antibiotic resistance genes....etc etc
state the theory of spontaneous generation of micro oranisms and germ theory of disease
what are the advantages of high note numerical aperture
Genius Reply
list if non flagellated pritozoa
Mepung Reply
Can someone that's understanding of the Kreb Cycle please explain & breakdown it down to me in the simplest way without giving me the dictionary version or Google version. Basically in there own words of knowledge....!
please can someone help explain positive and negative feedback in simple term
negative feedback is the arresting of reaction or reverse of the reaction according to the response and postive feed back is the direct response without reversing or arresting a reaction.
pls can someone explained Kinney stone in memorising in shot time
what tyoebif microorganism will be killed by antibiotic trwatmeant
Mary Reply
I don't really don't understand aerobic respiration anaerobic respiration and fermentation. Can someone explain & breakdown this in the simplest way please.
Anaerobic Respiration in which foodstuffs are partially oxidized, with the release of chemical energy, in a process not involving atmospheric oxygen, such as alcoholic fermentation, in which one of the end products is ethanol.
aerobic respiration A type of respiration in which foodstuffs are completely oxidized to carbon dioxide and water, with the release of chemical energy, in a process requiring atmospheric oxygen.
please can someone explain what pseudomonas species and biofilm is?
Fermentation is the growth of cells or microorganisms in bioreactors (fermenters) to synthesize special products. Fermentation in biochemistry refers to the biodegradation of carbon compounds by cells or organisms under anaerobic (lack of oxygen) conditions.
Please under which conditions does pathogens become established in the human tissues and can cause diseases
please the life cycle of plasmodium parasite
who is John Needham
Mary Reply
John Needham is one of the researcher in microbiology. He also experimented when scientists did not believe animals could arise spontaneously ,but did believe microbes could.
okay is he late
by the way what are the list of courses offered by a newly admitted student for microbiology
Needham's experiments with beef gravy and infusions of plants material reinforced this idea.
what drugs are given to a person with Otis nerve problem(ear problem)
Gum Reply

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