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Introduction of a sample into a container of media


Under a condition that allows growth


Seperating from one species to another

Liquid media examples

broth, milk, infusion

Liquid media

Water-based, do not solidigy at temperature above freezing; float easily

Semi-solid media

Contain an amount of solidified agent so that it's thickened but does not have to be firmed up to be solid; can be used to measured motility; localization of reaction

Solid media

Firm surface on which colonies of bacteria and fungi can grow

Semi-solid media examples

agar, gelatin

Solid media examples


Solid liquidfiable media

Physical form change in response to temperature change

Solid nonliquidfiable media

Start out solid and stay solid; less use; not versatile

Nutrient broth

Liquid; beef extract and peptone

Nutrient agar

Solid; beef extract, peptone, agar


Complex polysaccharide isolated from red algae; solid at room temperature; liquidfies at boiling; does not resolidify until it cools to 42C; not digestable for most microbes

Synthetic media

Pure organic/inorganic compounds; chemically defined

Complex/nonsynthetic media

Has at least 1 ingredient that is not chemically definable

General purpose media

Grow a broad range of microbes, usually nonsynthetic

Enriched media

Complex organic substances such as blood serum, hemoglobin or special growth factors required by fastidious microbes

Selective media

Contain one or more agents that inhibit growth of some microbes and encourage growth of the desired microbes

Differential media

Allow growth of several types of microbes and displays visible differences among desired and undesired microbes

Reducing media

Contain a substance that absorb oxygen or slow penetration of oxygen into medium; used for growing anaerobic bacteria

Carbohydrate fermentation media

Contain sugar that can be fermented, converted to acids, and a pH indicator to show the reaction; basis for identifying bacteria and fungi

Pure culture

Contain of medium that grow only a single known species or type of microorganisms

Axenic culture

Is a pure culture, but it's free of other living things except the one being studied


Make a second level culture from a well-isolated colony; a small amount of cells are transferred to a separate container and incubated

Mixed culture

Contain 2 or more easily differentiated species

Contaminated culture

Has unwanted microbes of uncertain identity


Ability to enlarge objects

Rosolving power

Ability to show details

Bright-field microscopes

Most widely used; specimen is darker than surrounding field

Dark-field microscopes

Brightly illuminated specimens surrounded by dark fields

Phase contrast

Transforms subtle changes in light waves passing through the specimen into differences in light intensity; best for observing intracellular structures

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