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Name: Whitney
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What are the steps for culturing E.col bacteria?

for culturing E.coli bacteria you need sterile medium, either liquid or in the form of agar plates, and a culture of pure E.coli cells. If you want to culture E.coli from stool, you have to add selective antibiotics to the plates to prevent growth of other bacteria that are present. Even so, several bacterial species might show up and you have to pick the right colonies of E.coli to culture them to pure form, and to confirm by bacteriological tests that they are indeed E.coli.

In the Virtual Museum of Bacteria at you will find useful further information and also a link to do-it-yourself bacteriology at home, e.g. to culture bacteria from Limburgher cheese.

Have fun!

Dr. Wassenaar

Your question is very general. E. coli are bacteria that live in the gut of warm blooded animals so they like being incubated at body temperature which is about 98 deg. F or 37 deg. C. They will grow at room temp. but more slowly. They can be grown in the dark or the light. You must put them on some sort of nutrient agar medium that provides all of the nutrients they need. This must all be done in a sterile manner with a bacteriological loop sterilized by a bunson burner flame until it glows red, or a sterile cotton swab. When you are finished, you must have some way of diposing of all the materials you used in a manner that will kill the bacteria. 10% bleach is an effective disinfectant. Swabs and petrie dishes can be put into bleach to be decontaminated. If an autoclave is available to you this is best.


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