Types Of Culture Media

A culture media is 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 a microbial growth.

Since there are many types of microorganisms, each having unique properties and requiring specific nutrients for growth, the culture media are of many types based on what nutrients they contain and what function they play in the growth of microorganisms.

A culture may be solid or liquid. The solid culture media is composed of a brown jelly like substance known as agar. Different nutrients and chemicals are added in it to allow the growth of different microorganisms.

Below given are some types of important culture or growth media used in microbiological laboratories:

Agar Plate with bacterial colonies
Agar Plate with bacterial colonies

The Preservation Culture Media

The preservation culture media 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. 

Selective Media Plate
Selective Media Plate

The Enrichment Culture Media

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

This culture media is usually composed of bacteria taken form liquid source such as pond water. The basic nutrient broth is the most commonly used enrichment culture media.

Selective Culture Media

The selective culture media is 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 with stand 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.

Examples of commonly used selective media include: PALCAM agar medium or Mac conkey agar medium.

Differential Culture Media

The differential culture media 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

The resuscitation culture media 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 had 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.

Fermentation Media
Fermentation Media

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.

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Comments 54 comments

anonymous 5 years ago

being a microbiologist, its interesting to see such information coming from an electrical engineer! good work!


carlo 5 years ago

thnx for the info . very useful in my study :)


Bayan 5 years ago

thanks .... :)


marlyn 5 years ago

thanks very much for the info.... it has helped me a lot!


Diodemise Augustine 5 years ago

I appreciate dis work it has helped me in studies. Keep it up and God bless..


Pragya 5 years ago

Realy,,its help a lot..


sushil chuhan 4 years ago

these are a very simple method but can if it use in cultre media an enrichment media to [1]blood whole [2]serum [3]peptones [4]lysed blood [5]vitamins.these are exemple for [1] blood agar [2] tryptone soya media .these are avery different part an essy method.


Geethu. 4 years ago

This info helped me a lots n my studies.. Thanks..


Oyelami fatimah 4 years ago

Pls kindly list organism that can grow on selective and enrichment media.thanks


Kibet vincent 4 years ago

I thank you a lot for the info but do we have what we cal the basic culture media


kyle 4 years ago

thanks for the info and it helped me a ton i got an A on my test thanks a lot again for all the help you have given everybody


tanveer ahmad 4 years ago

this article is useful in my study for preparation of exam thanku


Titi ojo 4 years ago

I kind of like this info but can u pls explain better on orgs likely 2 grw on each type of agar u mentioned


siva prasad mora 4 years ago

It s good for basics and one saggition give some examples for each media .Thanku


VERA,MAHA,MAGGI 4 years ago

REALLY VERY HELPFUL


avril 4 years ago

can u pls give us those examples of culture media?


rupa 4 years ago

thanku sooooo much


himanshu 4 years ago

thanx . . . Basic concept is clear nw


mahi 4 years ago

thanks 4 tat but its not enough


titiksha 4 years ago

realy helpful...... Bt it wud b more easier if u mention examples of nutrient medium....


siva prasad mora 4 years ago

good explanation of types and give some examples for good identification thanks


Akinola happiness temitope 4 years ago

May God bless u,dis informatn has rily helped me a lot.tnx...


Lamidi-olatunji abosede 4 years ago

This is a very useful information. Kudos!


Saira Baig 4 years ago

This article really helpful for me while writing my thesis. Thank you for sharing such information


victor 4 years ago

It help us a lot thanx


manal nasri 4 years ago

thanks a lot for info


suzie... 4 years ago

the answer i was looking for.. thx a zillion..


shadrack maganga 4 years ago

much helping!!!


DISMAS SANG 4 years ago

Thanks for this provision it is helping alot


hapuarachchi 4 years ago

really helpful


Abubakar lajawa 4 years ago

Thanks 4 d informations given


pan 4 years ago

thankzzzzzzzzzzz


daniel 4 years ago

of all it is helpful thanx a lot.


jabulani .t 4 years ago

Very helpful information but i wish you would also include the types of bacteria that are grown in each media. good work!


BRIGHT O C 4 years ago

thanks for the work it help me alot in my preperations. please which organism wil grow on the media's that u listed


BRIGHT O C 4 years ago

thanks for the work it help me a lot in my preperations. please which organism wil grow on the media's that u listed


Nwankwo stevo 4 years ago

The information is very helpful but can you give an example of each media


fiza 4 years ago

thanks for diferentiating all d media's. it was very helpful in my studies. grt job.


carol 4 years ago

thanks for helping my seminar


peter 4 years ago

good work but give us excamples


hilton mutai 4 years ago

Thanks a lot info is useful to me.


Tina 4 years ago

This is wonderful information even for someone who is a medical assistant student trying to understand the basics of microbiology. Even the simplest information on microbiology appears complex to me...and this is coming from an engineer? It's amazing your knowledge on microbiology when you are actually an engineer...what a genius!!


Deezu 4 years ago

Tanx so much,pls can u tell me d name of d media on which fermentative bacteria can grow?


Simeon Paul 4 years ago

Great and excellent with people like u forward is ever


Christiana emma 4 years ago

Tanx it helps a lot


Folasade 4 years ago

Tnx so much as dis realy help me 2 carry out my seminar topic,but can u tell me d instruments used in seeding,storage/transportation of culture media


Folasade 4 years ago

I realy tnk u so much as dis wil help me 2 carry my seminal topic,can u tell me d instrument used in seeding n storage/transportation of culture media


Victor 4 years ago

Thank you for this enriching information.


Mariecruz 4 years ago

Tnx.dis was very explanatory


Mawande 4 years ago

This info will always help.....thanks a lot


Vivian chiamaka 4 years ago

Thanks you very much i appreciate


OMOTOLA 4 years ago

This is really helpful


Beecee 4 years ago

So helpful,thanks a lot.


pat 4 years ago

tnx a lot.

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