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.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Huwaila kabir 

        11 days ago

        Thank you

      • profile image

        I'M a DMLT STUDENT 

        2 weeks ago

        First of all thank you very much for sharing incredible knowledge,

        and I'm going to request you to please update that the deference between Gram positive and Gram negative organism

      • profile image

        Ahmad 

        3 weeks ago

        why there's nothing about assay media

      • profile image

        Isma'il Yusuf Nayaya 

        3 weeks ago

        My GOD increases me to become like all microbiologist

      • profile image

        Murtala muhammad idris,gwaram, jigawa state. 

        4 weeks ago

        my comment is that, i whent to be like u

      • profile image

        Oyinkansola tijani 

        5 weeks ago

        Thanks May Almighty Allah bless you,cause it's helpful for students

        .

      • profile image

        owoahene archie 

        5 weeks ago

        waooooo......very helpful. thanks

      • profile image

        Otele 

        5 weeks ago

        This was highly useful. It has helped me cut down on my stress in preparation for my exams.

        Thank you.

      • profile image

        Scanday. student of Lira med. lab sch. 

        5 weeks ago

        Thanks for knowledge given.

      • profile image

        Jukta biswas 

        6 weeks ago

        Thanks... This is very helpful for students...

      • profile image

        Abubakar Farouk 

        6 weeks ago

        diffrencial media is the slective media used diffrenciate micro organisim between gram positive organism and gram negative organism

      • profile image

        Devi's ndareya 

        6 weeks ago

        Thanks for the update

      • profile image

        Joy Amaka 

        7 weeks ago

        Thanks a lot

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        Swati 

        8 weeks ago

        Thanks

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        Eunie shan 

        2 months ago

        Its really helpful,thank you

      • profile image

        ibrahim auwal student from federal university dutsinma katsina state nigeria studying microbiology as a field of study 

        2 months ago

        I really appreciate the author for this wonderful work and i really impact positively from you work and i wish to be academically like u

      • profile image

        Kishan 

        2 months ago

        Useful for us sir

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        Marconi 

        2 months ago

        Thanks for this piece of information.It has really enlightened me alot.

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        lukubi 

        2 months ago

        Good piece of information

      • profile image

        Julie 

        2 months ago

        It's really helpful

      • profile image

        Umar Namla 

        3 months ago

        Nice work dear

      • profile image

        Dr mee mee 

        3 months ago

        I'd like to know what kind of dyes and

        chemicals in selective mefia.

      • profile image

        bere sorbari 

        3 months ago

        thanks this page is self explanatory

      • profile image

        josephine 

        3 months ago

        very useful and helpful to student in studying

      • profile image

        Rabbi 

        4 months ago

        The page is so helpful.

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        4 months ago

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        4 months ago

        very helpfull

      • profile image

        ash 

        5 months ago

        bacillus tuberculosis is a bacteria i need to grow , what do i use

      • profile image

        Gaurav raaz 

        5 months ago

        Very important media provide to we thanks

      • profile image

        Mobina 

        5 months ago

        very useful and easy understanding

        thanks

      • profile image

        riyaz 

        6 months ago

        This is good for educated peoples

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        OFM(OLUWAFEMI MICHAEL) 

        6 months ago

        Very helpful and easy understanding, May God bless you

      • profile image

        Augustine Ndunga 

        6 months ago

        That's awesome.

      • profile image

        Vamshi 

        6 months ago

        Which media used for bacillus tuberculosis

      • profile image

        Ikotun Allen 

        6 months ago

        This is so helpful, thanks to the composer

      • profile image

        otim simon p 

        6 months ago

        Thanks , i like this page because it contains alot of information

      • profile image

        Ami 

        6 months ago

        Thank you

      • profile image

        Ahmed jookar mohamuud 

        7 months ago

        i am student of medical laboratory so help me

        macConkey agar prepatation

      • profile image

        david 

        7 months ago

        thank u so much

      • profile image

        princyshojan 

        7 months ago

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

        THANKS.....

      • profile image

        Bhaskar Jyoti Borah 

        7 months ago

        Really helpful

      • profile image

        elisa alondra 

        7 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Calvin kelison kiro 

        8 months ago

        So helpfull to students

      • profile image

        Fahad Khan 

        9 months ago

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

      • profile image

        digvijay baranda 

        9 months ago

        This information is helpful

        Thanks

      • profile image

        K. M. M 

        9 months ago

        Helpful

      • profile image

        Tabby 

        9 months ago

        Thanks.

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

      • profile image

        Joseph 

        9 months ago

        Very helpful and much appealing

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        Luka Mugo 

        9 months ago

        Its a fantastic word its has helped me

      • profile image

        atropa 

        9 months ago

        perfect

      • profile image

        amere 

        9 months ago

        thank you

      • profile image

        basant kumar singh 

        11 months ago

        thanks .... helpful. information

      • profile image

        Vanessa 

        11 months ago

        Very nice...thx for the info

      • profile image

        Angelin Benita 

        11 months ago

        helped with lab record..thank you

      • profile image

        Dorcas 

        11 months ago

        Thanks so much. I find it really helpful.

      • profile image

        Michael Mtambo 

        11 months ago

        I can understand now!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        Babloo Dev 

        11 months ago

        Very nice proses

      • profile image

        Augustine 

        12 months ago

        Thanks a lot. You are the best

      • profile image

        Nkunim 

        12 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Deva 

        12 months ago

        Really it very helpful thanku

      • profile image

        It is very helpful 

        13 months ago

        Lizmukhwana621@gmail.com

      • profile image

        Jefferson 

        13 months ago

        It is helpful

      • profile image

        Kelvin Kariuki 

        14 months ago

        really helpful...thanks for the good work

      • profile image

        RAJLEKHA MUKHERJEE 

        14 months ago

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

      • profile image

        keerthi jayalath 

        15 months ago

        it is helpful my lab report writing

      • profile image

        cheruiyot 

        16 months ago

        Could You please add an examples in every type of media

      • profile image

        tumwesigye johnson 

        16 months ago

        good, and thnx.

      • profile image

        ekure lopeyok @Elias 

        17 months ago

        so impressive and educating big ups

      • profile image

        caleb 

        17 months ago

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

      • profile image

        k.k.k 

        17 months ago

        Afternoon

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

      • profile image

        musa nafiu kaura 

        18 months ago

        thanks for your help by BD2

      • profile image

        abdishakour 

        18 months ago

        thank you

      • profile image

        Manisha Prajapati 

        18 months ago

        How many types of culture media

        Can you explaine please

      • profile image

        Dream 

        18 months ago

        Thnx a lot

      • profile image

        Peter odhiambo 

        19 months ago

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

      • profile image

        alyc 

        20 months ago

        awesome

      • profile image

        Anthony 

        2 years ago

        very helpfull information thanks i can now finish my assgnmt (evlyne hone my college)

      • profile image

        pat 

        6 years ago

        tnx a lot.

      • profile image

        Beecee 

        6 years ago

        So helpful,thanks a lot.

      • profile image

        OMOTOLA 

        6 years ago

        This is really helpful

      • profile image

        Vivian chiamaka 

        6 years ago

        Thanks you very much i appreciate

      • profile image

        Mawande 

        6 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Mariecruz 

        6 years ago

        Tnx.dis was very explanatory

      • profile image

        Victor 

        6 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

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