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What Are the Types of Culture Medium?

Culture medium refers to the nutrient substrate that provides microorganisms, plants, or animals (or tissues) with the nutrients needed for growth and reproduction, and is composed of various nutritional substances. Generally, they contain carbohydrates, nitrogen-containing substances, inorganic salts (including trace elements), vitamins, and water. So what are the types of culture medium according to different properties?

Chemical classification of culture medium

Natural culture medium

Natural culture medium refers to a type of culture medium made from animals, plants, or microorganisms and including their extracts. For example, beef extract peptone medium, malt extract medium, and LB medium. Common natural organic nutrients include bean sprout juice, corn powder, soil leachate, bran, milk, serum, and coconut juice. Natural culture media have low costs and are not only frequently used in laboratories but also suitable for large-scale microbial fermentation production in industry.

Composite culture medium

Synthetic culture medium is a culture medium prepared by simulating and artificially designing natural culture medium components with chemical substances. For example, Koser's broth and Chahal medium. Synthetic culture media have a certain recipe, with strong repeatability when formulated, but the cost is higher than that of natural culture media. Microbes grow slow in synthetic culture media and are generally suitable for research work in microbiological nutritional requirements, metabolism, classification and identification, biomass measurement, strain selection, and genetic analysis in the laboratory.

Semi-synthetic culture medium

This refers to a type of culture medium mainly prepared with chemical reagents and at the same time with some natural ingredients. For example, potato sugar medium.

Physical classification of culture medium

Liquid culture media

80% to 90% of a liquid culture media is water, with nutritional components that are soluble or not soluble included.

Solid culture medium

A type of prepared solid substrate. According to properties, it is divided into solidified culture medium, irreversible solidified medium, natural solid culture medium, and membrane filtration.

Semisolid culture medium

One of the types of culture medium in microbiology refers to a semisolid-state culture medium prepared by adding a small amount of coagulant to a liquid culture medium.

Dehydrated culture medium

Also known as pre-dry culture medium, it refers to a commercial culture medium containing all components except water.

Microbial classification of culture medium

Selective culture medium

A type of culture medium designed based on a microorganism's special nutritional requirements or its resistance to certain chemical or physical factors, having the function of turning disadvantageous bacteria in mixed samples into advantageous ones, and widely used in the screening of bacterial strains and other fields.

Differential culture medium

A type of culture medium mixed with an indicator that can react with a colorless metabolic product of the target bacterium in the composition, making it easy to identify target bacterial colonies by color recognition alone among similar colonies.

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