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CULTURE MEDIA

CLASSIFICATION, TYPES AND USES

DEFINITION:
A growth medium or culture medium is a solid, liquid or semi-solid designed
to support the growth of microorganisms or cells, or small plants. A culture media is a special
medium used in microbiological laboratories to grow different kinds of microorganisms. A
growth or a culture medium is composed of different nutrients that are essential for microbial
growth.

CLASSIFICATION:
Culture media can be classified on the basis of consistency,
composition as well as their purpose or application.

ACCORDING TO CONSISTENCY
It may be solid, liquid or semi- solid.

 Solid medium
Solid medium contains agar at a concentration of 1.5-2.0% or some other, mostly inert
solidifying agent. Solid medium has physical structure and allows bacteria to grow in physically
informative or useful ways (e.g. as colonies or in streaks). Solid medium is useful for isolating
bacteria or for determining the colony characteristics of the isolate.

 Semisolid media
They are prepared with agar at concentrations of 0.5% or less. They have soft custard like
consistency and are useful for the cultivation of micro aerophilic bacteria or for determination of
bacterial motility.

 Liquid (Broth) medium


These media contains specific amounts of nutrients but don’t have trace of gelling agents such as
gelatin or agar. Broth medium serves various purposes such as propagation of large number of
organisms, fermentation studies, and various other tests. e.g. sugar fermentation tests, MR-VR
broth.
ACCORDING TO COMPOSITION

It may be synthetic or non- synthetic.

 Synthetic or chemically defined medium


A chemically defined medium is one prepared from purified ingredients and therefore whose
exact composition is known.

 Non synthetic or chemically undefined medium


Non-synthetic medium contains at least one component that is neither purified nor completely
characterized. Often these are partially digested proteins from various organism sources.

ACCORDING TO PURPOSE/APPLICATION

 Basic Media:
These are media which may be used for cultivation of most ordinary microorganisms.

These may be in liquid form ex:

Nutrient broth: Composed of beef extract+ Peptone+ NaCl.

or may be in a solid form ex:

Nutrient agar: Similar to nutrient broth but supplemented with 1-2% agar.
 Enriched Media:
Addition of extra nutrients in the form of blood, serum, egg yolk etc. to basal medium makes
them enriched media. Enriched media are used to grow nutritionally exacting (fastidious)
bacteria. Blood agar, chocolate agar etc. are few of the enriched media.

Blood Agar

 Selective and Enrichment Media:


These are designed to inhibit unwanted commensal or contaminating bacteria and help to recover
pathogen from a mixture of bacteria. While selective media are agar based, enrichment media are
liquid in consistency. Both these media serve the same purpose.

Various approaches to make a medium selective include addition of antibiotics, dyes, chemicals,
alteration of pH or a combination of these.

 Differential/ Indicator Medium: Differential Appearance:


Certain media are designed in such a way that different bacteria can be recognized on the basis
of their colony color. Various approaches include incorporation of dyes, metabolic substrates etc.
so that those bacteria that utilize them appear as differently colored colonies. Such media are
called differential media or indicator media. Differential media allow the growth of more than
one microorganism of interest but with morphologically distinguishable colonies.

 Transport Media:

Clinical specimens must be transported to the laboratory immediately after collection to prevent
overgrowth of contaminating organisms or commensals. This can be achieved by using transport
media. Such media prevent drying (desiccation) of specimen, maintain the pathogen to
commensal ratio and inhibit overgrowth of unwanted bacteria. Some of these media (Stuart’s &
Amie’s) are semi-solid in consistency. Addition of charcoal serves to neutralize inhibitory
factors.

 Anaerobic Media:

Anaerobic bacteria need special media for growth because they need low oxygen content,
reduced oxidation –reduction potential and extra nutrients.

Media for anaerobes may have to be supplemented with nutrients like haemin and vitamin K.
Such media may also have to be reduced by physical or chemical means. Boiling the medium
serves to expel any dissolved oxygen. Addition of 1% glucose, 0.1% thioglycollate, 0.1%
ascorbic acid, 0.05% cysteine or red hot iron filings can render a medium reduced. Before use
the medium must be boiled in water bath to expel any dissolved oxygen and then sealed with
sterile liquid paraffin.

 Assay Media
These media are used for the assay of vitamins, amino acids and antibiotics. E.g. antibiotic assay
media are used for determining antibiotic potency by the microbiological assay technique.

TYPES OF CULTURE MEDIA:


Since there are many types of microorganisms, each having unique properties and requiring
specific nutrients for growth, there are many types of culture media based on what nutrients they
contain and what function they play in the growth of microorganisms.
Below given are some types of important culture or growth media used in microbiological
laboratories:

 The Preservation Culture Media


This is composed of all the basic nutrients required for a microbial growth and is used to
preserve a specific type of microorganism, preferably bacteria or a set of different microbial
entities for a long period of time.

The basic purpose of this culture is to let these microorganisms grow safely in an ensured
environment that has all the important nutrients and to protect them against any environmental
damage so these organisms can be used when needed.

 The Enrichment Culture Media


This is a liquid medium which allows the microorganisms to multiply and has the essential
nutrients that are required for it.

It is usually composed of bacteria taken from a liquid source such as pond water. The basic
nutrient broth is the most commonly used.

 Selective Culture Media


This is a special type of media which allows the growth of certain microorganisms while inhibits
the growth of the others.

For example if we want to isolate a specific bacteria let’s say that can withstand an acidic
environment from a sample of pond water and get rid of others, a selective media with a low pH
will be taken which will allow the growth of only those organisms that can withstand acidity and
will kill the others that cannot.
 Differential Culture Media
This is a media that is used for differentiating between bacteria by using an identification marker
for a specific type of microorganism.

The selective and differential culture media are opposites to each other in a way that one inhibits
the growth of other organisms while allowing the growth of some while the other does not kill
the others but only highlights one type.

Blood agar is a common differential culture medium used to identify bacteria that causes
haemolysis in blood.

 Resuscitation Culture Media


This is a special type of media which is used for growing microorganisms that are damaged and
have lost the ability to produce due to certain harmful environmental factors.

This culture allows the organisms to regain their metabolism by providing the nutrients that the
organisms have been deprived of. For example, a type of bacteria that requires histamine for its
growth is subjected to a medium lacking this essential component its growth will be inhibited.

If the same bacteria is then placed in a medium consisting of histamine it will start to grow again.
In this case the media containing histamine will act as resuscitation media. An example of a
commonly used resuscitation culture media is the tryptic soya agar.

 General Purpose Media


The general purpose media is a media that has a multiple effect, i.e. it can be used as a selective,
deferential or a resuscitation media.

 Isolation Culture Media


An isolation culture medium is a simple agar containing solid medium that allows the growth of
microorganisms in the direction of the streaks.
For example the bacteria will only grow on the pattern made on the solidified agar during the
streak plate method. This is the most commonly used medium in microbiological labs.

 Fermentation Media
The fermentation culture media is a liquid selective media which is used to obtain a culture of a
specific organism more likely yeast or a particular toxin.

The fermentation media can also be differential but mostly it is selective in nature that is
allowing the growth of one type while inhibiting the growth of others.

USES OF CULTURE MEDIA:


 Primary isolation of microorganisms.
 To grow nutritionally exacting (fastidious) bacteria.
 To inhibit unwanted commensal or contaminating bacteria and help to recover pathogen
from a mixture of bacteria.
 Recognition of bacteria based on their colony color.
 Prevent drying (desiccation) of specimen, maintain the pathogen to commensal ratio and
inhibit overgrowth of unwanted bacteria.
 Microbiological testing in the laboratory.

CONCLUSION:
Microbiological culture media is the most widely used and arguably most important ‘tool’ of the
microbiologist. Given this primacy it is important that the media manufactured or purchased by
the laboratory is of high quality and suitable for the intended test method.

REFERENCES:

https://microbeonline.com/types-of-bacteriological-culture-medium/

https://owlcation.com/stem/Types-Of-Culture-Media

http://www.mmc.gov.bd/downloadable%20file/Culture%20media%20by%20Shyamal.pdf
Table of Contents

DEFINITION: ............................................................................................................................................... 1
CLASSIFICATION: ..................................................................................................................................... 1
ACCORDING TO CONSISTENCY ........................................................................................................ 1
 Solid medium................................................................................................................................. 1
 Semisolid media ............................................................................................................................ 1
 Liquid (Broth) medium .................................................................................................................. 1
ACCORDING TO COMPOSITION ........................................................................................................ 2
 Synthetic or chemically defined medium ....................................................................................... 2
 Non synthetic or chemically undefined medium............................................................................ 2
ACCORDING TO PURPOSE/APPLICATION ....................................................................................... 2
 Basic Media: ................................................................................................................................. 2
 Enriched Media: ........................................................................................................................... 3
 Selective and Enrichment Media: ................................................................................................. 3
 Differential/ Indicator Medium: Differential Appearance: .......................................................... 3
 Transport Media: .......................................................................................................................... 4
 Anaerobic Media: ......................................................................................................................... 4
 Assay Media .................................................................................................................................. 4
TYPES OF CULTURE MEDIA: .................................................................................................................. 4
 The Preservation Culture Media ....................................................................................................... 5
 The Enrichment Culture Media......................................................................................................... 5
 Selective Culture Media .................................................................................................................... 5
 Differential Culture Media ................................................................................................................ 6
 Resuscitation Culture Media ............................................................................................................. 6
 General Purpose Media ..................................................................................................................... 6
 Isolation Culture Media .................................................................................................................... 6
 Fermentation Media .......................................................................................................................... 7
USES OF CULTURE MEDIA: .................................................................................................................... 7
CONCLUSION: ............................................................................................................................................ 7
REFERENCES: ............................................................................................................................................ 7
ASSIGNMENT # 2

TOPIC: CULTURE MEDIA- CLASSIFICATION, TYPES AND USES

NAME: MARYAM AJAZ

SUBMITTED TO: DR. RABIA NAZ

COURSE: MICROBIOLOGY

SEMSTER: 4

DATE: 28TH FEB, 2019

DEPARTMENT OF FOOD SCIENCES AND HUMAN NUTRITION