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Culture of microorganisms

Streak Plate Technique

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Learn how to prepare a streak plate by following a stepwise virtual lab protocol. Explore good aseptic techniques and how to achieve the optimal streak technique.

Learning outcomes

  • Familiarise yourself with the equipment required to prepare a streak plate
  • Outline the key steps of making a streak plate and understand the reasoning behind each step
  • Identify single colonies growing on a streak plate for further analysis
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Using Instruments and Equipment

  • What equipment is required to streak 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 inoculation loop
  • How to streak a bacterial culture on 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 sterile loop should not be used to spread bacteria while it is hot 

Obtaining and Recording Data

  • What streak pattern is used to achieve discrete colonies
  • Why plates should be placed upside down in the incubator
  • How the density of bacterial colonies differs in different parts of the streak plate

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 inoculation loop

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University of Exeter

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Culture of microorganisms

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