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Name: Sonia T.
Status: Student
Age: 14
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

What are the best growing conditions for culturing Escherichia coli bacteria using agar in a petri dish? I'm thinking about perhaps conducting an experiment where I'd test the effects of various saccharides (mono-, di- and poly-) to see how they will effect the growth of E. Coli.

Also, could you suggest any websites that will provide me with information about Escherichia coli without gettingcarried away with info about the disease outbreaks, and rather on how they obtain energy for biological processes?

I'd also like tofind out more information of the uses of saccharides in cells.

Hi Sonia,

E. coli is normally cultured on agar plates with Luria broth (LB) or Heart Infusion (HI) medium. These culture media are bought as powders with the agar already mixed in. They are rich in components so bacteria grow fast on them.

If you want to test growth on different sugars, these media can not be used since they already contain sugars. Your additional sugars would have no effect. You'd have to make agar plates of minimal medium where you can add the sugars of choice, however producing minimal medium plates is quite complex.

There are media avaialable with specific sugar components in them, a bacteriology lab would have them. If you have a lab like that in your neighborhood maybe you can even get some ready-made plates from them.

Here is a good on-line lecture on glucose metabolism in E. coli:

A more general tutorial on metabolism of sugars can be found at

Compare autotrophic bacteria with heterotrophs at

I hope this will get you started.

Good luck
Trudy Wassenaar

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