What is Culture Media?
Because microorganisms are so small, sometimes very large colonies of them are necessary for any kind of experimentation or to determine treatment for disease. To get populations big enough to be studied, scientist have to be able to grow them efficiently, and to do that they use culture media. While the culture media used are in liquid or gelatinous form, often culture media are sold and shipped as dehydrated powders so that they can be mixed up as necessary. It is also important for researchers to know what nutrients suspected pathogens need in order to grow them.
When researchers know how to successfully grow pathogens in a growth medium, they can gain insight into how these substances are harmful. As an example, pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen found in cystic fibrosis patients and burn patients express their genes for virulence in conditions of medium or low iron. Therefore, when a culture is done from one of these patients in a low iron culture, growth of the organisms signal that they are present inside a host and can influence the types of treatment a patient receives.
To determine what goes into a dehydrated culture medium, it is necessary to know the nutritional requirements of the cells that are to be cultured. Once these structures are broken down, they are found to be made up of lipids, amino acids, nucleic acids, sugars, and other compounds. Knowing the chemical formulations of these compounds allows scientists to make an accurate estimate of the cell’s nutritional requirements.
Over time, a body of knowledge is created about strains of bacteria or other microorganisms and their nutritional needs. Culture media are fine-tuned for specific applications. Dehydrated culture media are manufactured for convenience of researchers. With dehydrated media, researchers can mix up custom quantities that are tailored to their unique research needs.
P&R Labpak supply a range of media to suit all applications.