chemical complex media

Pre-Lab Questions

1. What is the difference between chemically defined and chemically complex media? Give either a clinical or environmental research example for which each media type would be the most appropriate choice for culturing microorganisms.

Chemically defined media contains ingredients in known chemical composition while complex media contains unknown ingredients. Chemically defined media provide only the required nutrients in defined concentration while complex media provides varied growth factors in excessive concentration. Defined media is used in culture of in vitro cells while complex media is used in growth of fastidious pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Glucose broth is an example of defined media and nutrient broth is an example of complex media.

2. Why is differential media typically inoculated with isolated colonies that have been previously cultured on general growth media?

Differential media are growth media that allow the growth of certain bacteria so that they can be innoculated. They help to distinguish between closely related organisms. The difference can be visually distinguished by certain biochemical reactions that may be caused by one species but not by the other.

Innoculation of differential media is done to obtain reproducibility of quantitation results. When bacteria grow on general growth media there is no way to distinguish the different species or groups. When innoculated on the differential media, they can be isolated on the basis of the biochemical reaction they might or might not cause.

3. Use a textbook or a reputable internet source (such as to research and describe a scenario in a lab or clinical setting in which a selective and/or differential test would be necessary.

Experiment 1: Bioprospecting for Starch Degrading Bacteria

Data Tables

Table 3: Starch Agar and Gram Iodine Results

SampleGrowth on Starch Agar? (Yes or No)Clear area around colonies?Do these bacteria contain amylase?
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