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Ch 4: Microbiology Laboratory Techniques

About This Chapter

Watch informative video lessons and learn about laboratory techniques used in research. Take the quick quizzes that follow each lesson to gauge your progress.

About this Chapter

Are you ready to get hands-on in the lab? This chapter on laboratory techniques will teach you about how research works, from prepping the lab to measuring bacterial growth. Instructors will also discuss specific procedures and tools, such as methods for the Gram Stain, serial dilutions, and differential and selective media. Upon completing these lessons, students will be prepared to:

  • Explain how to prepare a lab to create the correct conditions for growing bacteria
  • Describe the phases of bacterial growth and how they are measured
  • Define and discuss the Gram Stain and serial dilution
  • Compare and contrast differential and selective media and explain how they are used in a lab

Video Objective
The Gram Stain: Methods, Techniques & Processes Learn about the Gram Stain procedure, how it differentiates Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and how it applies to relevant organisms.
Growing Bacteria in a Lab: Experiments & Conditions Discover basic bacteriology procedures, including how to use sterile technique, and get an overview of growth and isolation techniques in the lab.
What Is Bacterial Growth & Generation Time? - Curves, Phases & Stages Explore bacterial growth, characteristics of bacterial growth curves, and generation times, including lag phase and log phase.
Serial Dilution in Microbiology: Calculation, Method & Technique Define serial dilutions and discuss how they are used in microbiology.
Differential & Selective Media in Microbiology Learn about using selective and differential media, how they are different, and how they are used in a microbiology lab, including classification, selecting for bacteria with a certain plasmid, and showing that a bacterial plasmid has a piece of DNA incorporated into it.

7 Lessons in Chapter 4: Microbiology Laboratory Techniques
Simple and Differential Stains: Definition and Examples

1. Simple and Differential Stains: Definition and Examples

Observing tiny bacteria under the microscope is not as easy as it sounds. In this lesson, we will examine several staining techniques used to color bacteria, enhancing their visibility.

The Gram Stain: Background and Example Organisms

2. The Gram Stain: Background and Example Organisms

Every microbiology student should be familiar with the Gram stain. In this first of two lessons on this technique, we will look at some of the background information before describing and viewing some relevant example organisms.

The Gram Stain: Theory and Procedure

3. The Gram Stain: Theory and Procedure

In this lesson, we will focus on the individual steps of the Gram stain procedure. In this second of two lessons on the Gram stain, we will examine the theory and procedure behind how each step contributes to the process as a whole.

Growing Bacteria in a Lab: Experiments & Conditions

4. Growing Bacteria in a Lab: Experiments & Conditions

Despite the fact that bacteria are growing all around you, they can be surprisingly difficult to grow in a lab. This lesson will explore some of the basics involved in culturing bacteria for experimentation.

What Is Bacterial Growth & Generation Time? - Curves, Phases & Stages

5. What Is Bacterial Growth & Generation Time? - Curves, Phases & Stages

Bacteria are able to reproduce at an incredibly rapid pace. In this lesson, we will examine the different phases of bacterial growth and how to calculate population numbers based on generation times and culture size.

Serial Dilution in Microbiology: Calculation, Method & Technique

6. Serial Dilution in Microbiology: Calculation, Method & Technique

Working with billions of tiny cells can pose a problem when you need to count the total number of cells in a sample. Fortunately, through precise serial dilution of a sample, it is possible to get down to a number that is much easier to work with.

Differential & Selective Media in Microbiology

7. Differential & Selective Media in Microbiology

Every microbiologist eventually has to grow cultures of bacteria for their experiments. In this lesson, we will investigate selective and differential media, two techniques to make culturing bacterial species a little more efficient.

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