03 Jun

Pure Culture Technique

In natural environments bacteria exist as mixed populations.  This presents a challenge when trying to study a single species.  It is very rare to find a single species living in natural environments.  Robert Koch, a pioneer in medical microbiology, knew that he would have to find a way to isolate bacteria from other species if he wanted to prove that a specific agent caused a disease.  His lab contributed many techniques to microbiology including the method designed to obtain a pure culture of bacteria.  Pure cultures contain only a single bacteria.  Pure cultures allow one to study the morphological and physiological characterisitics of an individual organism.  Two common methods are the streak plate and the pour plate.