Types of Culture Media

Updated on March 11, 2017

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.

Since there are many types of microorganisms, each having unique properties and requiring specific nutrients for growth, there are 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 to 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

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 Media Plate
Selective Media Plate

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 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 includes: PALCAM agar medium or Mac conkey agar medium.

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 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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      • profile image

        princyshojan 9 days ago

        It is easy to study.......

        THANKS.....

      • profile image

        Bhaskar Jyoti Borah 2 weeks ago

        Really helpful

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        elisa alondra 3 weeks ago

        what is the most common general isolating medium for Gram negative rods

      • profile image

        Calvin kelison kiro 4 weeks ago

        So helpfull to students

      • profile image

        Fahad Khan 8 weeks ago

        Appreciated, will I am studying biochemistry 4th semester and I need some cell cultures media

      • profile image

        digvijay baranda 2 months ago

        This information is helpful

        Thanks

      • profile image

        K. M. M 2 months ago

        Helpful

      • profile image

        Tabby 2 months ago

        Thanks.

        But I wish you could add on the different bacteria they support

      • profile image

        Joseph 2 months ago

        Very helpful and much appealing

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        Luka Mugo 2 months ago

        Its a fantastic word its has helped me

      • profile image

        atropa 2 months ago

        perfect

      • profile image

        amere 2 months ago

        thank you

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        Vanessa 4 months ago

        Very nice...thx for the info

      • profile image

        Augustine 5 months ago

        Thanks a lot. You are the best

      • profile image

        Nkunim 5 months ago

        Please give the properties of the media and the types of bacterials that occurs in the medium

      • profile image

        Jefferson 6 months ago

        It is helpful

      • profile image

        Kelvin Kariuki 7 months ago

        really helpful...thanks for the good work

      • profile image

        RAJLEKHA MUKHERJEE 7 months ago

        Thanks a lot, but there are many types, can you pls explain.

      • profile image

        keerthi jayalath 7 months ago

        it is helpful my lab report writing

      • profile image

        cheruiyot 9 months ago

        Could You please add an examples in every type of media

      • profile image

        tumwesigye johnson 9 months ago

        good, and thnx.

      • profile image

        ekure lopeyok @Elias 9 months ago

        so impressive and educating big ups

      • profile image

        caleb 10 months ago

        Thanks alot.....its helpful to my study

      • profile image

        k.k.k 10 months ago

        Afternoon

        Sir. Do you explain agar-agar comption of culture media

      • profile image

        musa nafiu kaura 10 months ago

        thanks for your help by BD2

      • profile image

        abdishakour 11 months ago

        thank you

      • profile image

        Manisha Prajapati 11 months ago

        How many types of culture media

        Can you explaine please

      • profile image

        Dream 11 months ago

        Thnx a lot

      • profile image

        Peter odhiambo 12 months ago

        It has really helped me do my assignments.. Thank you for this

      • profile image

        alyc 12 months ago

        awesome

      • profile image

        pat 5 years ago

        tnx a lot.

      • profile image

        Beecee 5 years ago

        So helpful,thanks a lot.

      • profile image

        OMOTOLA 5 years ago

        This is really helpful

      • profile image

        Vivian chiamaka 5 years ago

        Thanks you very much i appreciate

      • profile image

        Mawande 5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Mariecruz 5 years ago

        Tnx.dis was very explanatory

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        Victor 5 years ago

        Thank you for this enriching information.

      • profile image

        Folasade 6 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

      • profile image

        Folasade 6 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

      • profile image

        Christiana emma 6 years ago

        Tanx it helps a lot

      • profile image

        Simeon Paul 6 years ago

        Great and excellent with people like u forward is ever

      • profile image

        Deezu 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Tina 6 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!!

      • profile image

        hilton mutai 6 years ago

        Thanks a lot info is useful to me.

      • profile image

        peter 6 years ago

        good work but give us excamples

      • profile image

        carol 6 years ago

        thanks for helping my seminar

      • profile image

        fiza 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Nwankwo stevo 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        BRIGHT O C 6 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

      • profile image

        BRIGHT O C 6 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

      • profile image

        jabulani .t 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        daniel 6 years ago

        of all it is helpful thanx a lot.

      • profile image

        pan 6 years ago

        thankzzzzzzzzzzz

      • profile image

        Abubakar lajawa 6 years ago

        Thanks 4 d informations given

      • profile image

        hapuarachchi 6 years ago

        really helpful

      • profile image

        DISMAS SANG 6 years ago

        Thanks for this provision it is helping alot

      • profile image

        shadrack maganga 6 years ago

        much helping!!!

      • profile image

        suzie... 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        manal nasri 6 years ago

        thanks a lot for info

      • profile image

        victor 6 years ago

        It help us a lot thanx

      • profile image

        Saira Baig 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Lamidi-olatunji abosede 6 years ago

        This is a very useful information. Kudos!

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        Akinola happiness temitope 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        siva prasad mora 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        titiksha 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        mahi 6 years ago

        thanks 4 tat but its not enough

      • profile image

        himanshu 6 years ago

        thanx . . . Basic concept is clear nw

      • profile image

        rupa 6 years ago

        thanku sooooo much

      • profile image

        avril 6 years ago

        can u pls give us those examples of culture media?

      • profile image

        VERA,MAHA,MAGGI 6 years ago

        REALLY VERY HELPFUL

      • profile image

        siva prasad mora 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Titi ojo 6 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

      • profile image

        tanveer ahmad 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        kyle 6 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

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        Kibet vincent 6 years ago

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

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        Oyelami fatimah 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Geethu. 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        sushil chuhan 6 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.

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        Pragya 6 years ago

        Realy,,its help a lot..

      • profile image

        Diodemise Augustine 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        marlyn 6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Bayan 6 years ago

        thanks .... :)

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        carlo 6 years ago

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

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        anonymous 7 years ago

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

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