Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne E. coli Growing
Name: Sonia T.
Status: Student
Age: 14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
What are the best growing conditions for culturing Escherichia coli bacteria using agar in a petri dish? I'm thinking about perhaps conducting an experiment where I'd test the effects of various saccharides (mono-, di- and poly-) to see how they will effect the growth of E. Coli.

Also, could you suggest any websites that will provide me with information about Escherichia coli without gettingcarried away with info about the disease outbreaks, and rather on how they obtain energy for biological processes?

I'd also like tofind out more information of the uses of saccharides in cells.



Replies:
Hi Sonia,

E. coli is normally cultured on agar plates with Luria broth (LB) or Heart Infusion (HI) medium. These culture media are bought as powders with the agar already mixed in. They are rich in components so bacteria grow fast on them.

If you want to test growth on different sugars, these media can not be used since they already contain sugars. Your additional sugars would have no effect. You'd have to make agar plates of minimal medium where you can add the sugars of choice, however producing minimal medium plates is quite complex.

There are media avaialable with specific sugar components in them, a bacteriology lab would have them. If you have a lab like that in your neighborhood maybe you can even get some ready-made plates from them.

Here is a good on-line lecture on glucose metabolism in E. coli:

http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~n55lrb

A more general tutorial on metabolism of sugars can be found at

http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/biochemistry.html

Compare autotrophic bacteria with heterotrophs at

http://www.ultranet.com/%7Ejkimball/BiologyPages/M/Metabolism.html

I hope this will get you started.

Good luck
Trudy Wassenaar



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory