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Chapter 6 : How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified

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How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Microbes catalyze numerous environmental chemical changes while they are pursuing their own purposes (namely, the fabrication of new microbial cells). These effects could not be intelligently interpreted until methods were developed for separation of natural mixtures of diverse microbial types into “pure” strains. Only then was it possible to determine by deliberate experiment, in the laboratory, the capabilities of individual kinds of microbes. With this knowledge (still being acquired), analysis of natural events in which myriads of microbes participate became feasible. Experiments by Louis Pasteur and his contemporaries clearly indicated that the variety of microbes in our surroundings have many different properties. The method most widely employed can be used either with enrichment cultures or with natural mixtures of microbes. With the availability of a simple method for obtaining pure cultures of bacteria and other microbes, the library of microbes in captivity expanded rapidly and has continued to do so. Once a pure culture is available, it is possible to grow the microbe in quantity so that detailed studies of its various properties can be made. From such knowledge, we can assess its significance with respect to its interactions with plants, animals, and other microbes; its possible roles in chemical conversions that occur constantly on the Earth's surface; and its potential for use in biotechnology.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, p 29-36. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch6
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Citation: Gest H. 2003. How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, p 29-36. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch6
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Figure 6

Procedure for isolating clones of microbes by streaking a droplet of cell suspension on a solid growth medium. (a) A loopful of inoculum is removed from the tube. (b) A streak is made over a sterile agar plate, spreading out the organisms. (c) Appearance of the streaked plate after incubation. Note the presence of isolated colonies; from well-isolated colonies like these, pure cultures can usually be obtained

Citation: Gest H. 2003. How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, p 29-36. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch6
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Figure 7

Preparation of petri dishes containing agar culture medium. Nutrients and agar are mixed with water in a large flask. The flask contents are sterilized in an autoclave, then poured into petri plates and allowed to cool and harden.

Citation: Gest H. 2003. How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, p 29-36. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch6
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Figure 8

Bacteria of different morphologies. (a) Coccus shaped (spherical) with cells in chains: Streptococcus sobrinus (scanning electron micrograph). (b) Rod shaped: Bacillus sp. (scanning electron micrograph). (c) Spiral shaped: Treponema denticola (darkfield microscopy).

Citation: Gest H. 2003. How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, p 29-36. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch6
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References

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Tables

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Table 2

Number of cells produced in 24 hours from multiplication of a single cell (doubling time: 1 hour)

Citation: Gest H. 2003. How Microbes Are Isolated and Identified, p 29-36. In Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817855.ch6

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