Standard Microbiological Practices

aka the approximately Ten Commandments of Microbiology

  1. Do not overfill your culture vessels
    When growing cultures in Erlenmeyer flasks, never exceed 20% of the capacity of the flask (e.g., 10 ml for a 50 ml flask). Doing so prevents adequate agitation and aeration of the culture and will result in incomplete growth, biofilms, or other inconsistencies.
  2. Always precondition your culture in the media in which you will be doing your experiment
    Otherwise your cultures may not consistently be in the same physiological state when you do your experiment.
  3. Always wash auxotrophic cells when transferring from rich media to minimal media
    Or else you may carry over enough of an amino acid or vitamin for the cells to grow.
  4. Thou shalt not shock thy cells by washing them in water
    Bacterial cells will rapidly die due to extreme osmotic shock if resuspended in pure water. It is safest to wash your cells with growth medium. Robust microbes such as E. coli can be washed in sterile saline. If you are using another microbial species, you need to test whether this is safe.
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Contributors to this topic Edit topic JeffreyBarrick, SimonDOelsnitz
Topic revision: r2 - 2016-12-15 - 20:28:15 - Main.SimonDOelsnitz
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