Researching project..need advice re:bacteria

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Researching project..need advice re:bacteria

Postby gigi » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:26 pm

Hi...I am researching project in which I will be comparing quantity of bacteria from the mouth before and after my testing.

My questions are:

I am hoping I can just use a swab to stain a petri dish.

1) Am I right to assume the bacteria present will be lactobillus or other anaerobic types?
2) If so, what is the best agar to grow these in? If not, what agar should I use? Can I just buy the premade stuff?

3) What is the best way to quantify/count the quantity of bacteria? Do I need to stain anything or will they be visible?

OR should I use Snyder agar? Will that just show the presence of bacteria on a scale according to the color but not be very good at showing data

whew! Thanks!
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:12 pm
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Project Question: Need help re: bacteria collection/counting
Project Due Date: 12/12
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Researching project..need advice re:bacteria

Postby heatherL » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:02 am

Hi gigi,

It sounds like you have a very interesting project idea! May I ask what you will be testing?

Science Buddies has a lot of information regarding tips and techniques for microbiology projects: ... ques.shtml. Make sure to read the safety guide first! ... fety.shtml

You should be able to use a swab to stain a petri dish. Here is some information about one way to inoculate your plates: ... tion.shtml

1) Here is a site describing the most common types of bacteria in the human mouth: ... man-mouth/ When you do your experiment, you will probably not be able to tell which types you have, although some of the colonies may look different from one another. What you will be able to measure is the number of colonies.

2) You should be able to use premade agar. Here is some more information about agar: ... Agar.shtml

3) You should not have to stain your bacteria to see them. Most colonies grow very quickly and are visible to the human eye.
Here is some information about interpreting plates: ... ates.shtml
If you end up with a "lawn" of bacteria (the plate totally covered in colonies), it may be hard to quantify. In that case, you may need to dilute the samples before plating them, so you end up with distinct colonies that you can count.

Here is a similar thread from a few years ago, which may answer some of your questions: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2936

Here is a Science Buddies project that is related to yours. Check out the procedure to help you with your experimental design: ... SW#summary

I hope this helps. Please post again (in this same thread) if you have more questions.

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