How do you grow bacteria on Agar?

I have only ever grown bacteria once, which was on the introductions within BV. As it’s something we will be doing throughout our project, I thought I should have a read through some of the methods so that I fully understand what we are doing. There is loads of information online showing simple walk throughs of bacteria growing within petri dishes, the best one is on http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/growing-bacteria, who offer a step by step guide. They have also given this great youtube video which explains the methods super-simply (very useful for beginners like me!) .

 

The website also explains a little about the bacteria that will be grown and what to expect from our growth, such as variety of colours, shapes and smells. They also explain how to dispose of the plates responsibly, but I suppose the lab will have their own method of destroying them! This was interesting “Most bacteria collected in the environment will not be harmful. However, once they multiply into millions of colonies in a Petri dish they become more of a hazard”. As we are thinking about growing bacteria from our faces, it will be interesting to see if Mark can identify if the bacteria grown is harmful, I wonder if there is an easy way to tell?

You’re likely to have a huge variety of colors, shapes, and smells in your tiny worlds. Count the number of colonies on the plate, note the differences in color, shape, and other properties. Getting bacteria to grow can be a little tricky, so don’t get discouraged if you have to make more than one attempt. Allow enough time for them to grow, too. You need millions of them in one place just to see them at all. They’re really tiny! In a lab, you’d use your trusty inoculating loop to pick up a bit of the bacteria in order to create a slide for further study under a microscope.

Most bacteria collected in the environment will not be harmful. However, once they multiply into millions of colonies in a Petri dish they become more of a hazard. Be sure to protect open cuts with rubber gloves and never ingest or breathe in growing bacteria. Keep your Petri dishes sealed in the zipper-lock bags for the entire experiment. When you’re finished with the experiment, some people recommend placing the Petri dish bag in a larger zipper-lock bag along with a few drops of bleach. Seal the larger bag and dispose of it in the trash.

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