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Culture of Microorganisms

Spread Plate Technique

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Learn how to prepare a spread plate by following a stepwise virtual lab protocol. Explore good aseptic technique, lid positioning, spread technique and sterilisation of an L-shaped spreader. Review the results of the spread plate.

Learning Outcomes

  • Familiarise yourself with the equipment required to prepare a spread plate
  • Perform the spread plate technique, focussing on key steps required to achieve an even distribution of bacteria across the entire plate
  • Understand the precautions that must be taken to ensure you work safely and with good aseptic technique
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Using Instruments and Equipment

  • What equipment is required to spread bacteria on an agar plate
  • Why plates should be labelled on their base and what it should detail
  • How to flame the neck of the culture bottle and spreader 
  • How to transfer and spread a bacterial culture onto an agar plate 
  • Why working under a bunsen burner and flaming the neck of the culture bottle helps reduce contamination
  • How to handle the equipment to reduce the risk of contamination 
  • Why the spreader should not be used to spread bacteria while it is hot 

Obtaining and Recording Data

  • Why the bacteria must be evenly spread across the agar plate 
  • Why the sample should be spread immediately after it has been transferred 
  • Why plates should be placed upside down in the incubator 

Working in a Safe Manner

  • Why care must be taken when flaming the neck of the bottle
  • How to reduce the risk of burning yourself when sterilising the spreader

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Culture of Microorganisms

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