Techniques for Microbiology

Benjamin Cummin
John M. Lammert  
Total pages
October 2006
Related Titles


Lammert's approach is visual and incorporates “voice balloons” that keep the student focused on the process described. The techniques are those that will be used frequently for studying microbes in the laboratory, and include those identified by the American Society for Microbiology in its recommendations for the Microbiology Laboratory Core Curriculum (recommendations in which the author participated).


Unique, full-color artwork with accompanying step-by-step instructions

- Helps students visualize techniques as an integrated process.


Brief presentation of techniques:

- The concise and easy-to-follow presentations of techniques in the handbook will make it more likely that the student will preview the technique before the lab period.

- Concise and illustrative presentation will appeal to visual learners.


Photographs that show the outcomes of enzyme-catalyzed reactions - Appear with the test procedure rather than in a separate grouping.


Portable 6” x 9” trim size and spiral binding -for students' convenience and effective use on the lab bench surface.


Suitable as a supplement to an in-house or commercial manual.


Table of Contents

Unit I - Safety first!


Safety in the microbiology laboratory


  Universal precautions


Unit II - Culturing bacteria and aseptic techniques


  Preparing culture media



    The autoclave

    Dry heat


  Aseptic transfer of bacteria

    Adjusting the gas burner

    Preparing bacterial cultures in broth tubes and on agar slants

    Transfer colony from plate to broth and to agar slant


  Isolation of bacteria

    Preparing a pour plate

    Preparing a streak plate

    Preparing a spread plate


  Characteristic features of bacterial growth in broth and on agar


  Maintenance and storage of stock cultures


  Culturing anaerobic bacteria


Unit III - Visualizing bacteria


  Effective use and responsible care of the light microscope


  Measuring microscopic cells


  Preparing a hanging-drop slide


  Preparing a bacterial smear


  Preparing a simple stain


  Preparing a Gram stain


  Preparing an acid-fast stain


  Preparing a negative stain


  Preparing a capsule stain


  Preparing an endospore stain


Unit IV - Enzyme-based tests for the identification of bacteria


  Hydrolytic (digestive) enzymes

    Starch hydrolysis

    Casein hydrolysis

    Gelatin hydrolysis

    Lipid hydrolysis (tributyrin and spirit blue agar)

    DNA hydrolysis

  Utilization of carbohydrates

    Fermentation of carbohydrates (Durham tube)

    Methyl red test (mixed fermentation)

    Voges-Proskauer test  (butanediol fermentation)

    Citrate utilization

    Oxidation-fermentation (O-F) glucose test


  Degradation of amino acids

    Indole test

    H2­S production

    Phenylalanine deamination

    Decarboxylase test


  Respiration tests

    Catalase test

    Oxidase test

    Nitrate reduction


  Miscellaneous tests

    Triple sugar iron (TSI) test

    Urea hydrolysis

    Litmus milk reactions

    Motility assay

    Coagulase production

Selective and/or differential media

    Blood agar

    Eosin methylene blue (EMB) agar

    Mannitol-salt agar

    MacConkey agar

    Phenylethyl alcohol (PEA) agar


Unit V - Counting microbes


  Direct microscopic counting with the Petroff-Hausser chamber 

  Preparing a standard plate count of bacteria

  Using Turbidemetry to estimate cell density

  Plaque assay for determining bacteriophage titer


Unit VI - Measuring effectiveness of antibacterial chemicals


  Kirby-Bauer method for sensitivity of bacteria to antibacterial


 Evaluating antibacterial chemicals: The disk-diffusion