A Is To Bacteria As A Is To Animal Cells What Are Agars and How Are They Used Within Microbiology Applications?

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What Are Agars and How Are They Used Within Microbiology Applications?

The term “Agar” is said to have originated in Southeast Asian countries from where the use of agar may have spread to other countries. Agars are used as a substrate to allow the growth of fungi and bacteria. It is said that there is no microbiology laboratory that can survive or function without the use of agar. Also no satisfactory substitute is found, even with today’s technological progress and knowledge. The highest quality agar together with the derivative “agarose” is derived from “red algae”. These belong to the “Gelidiaceae” family and are harvested by hand in several areas of the world such as Morocco, Mexico, Spain, Japan and South Africa. Other agars that are of lower quality are found in Gracilariaceae and other families. These are harvested and collected as detached plants and cultivated by aquaculture in Southeast Asia and Chile.

The use of agars in foods (mainly processed) increased as prices fell with the growth of “Gracilaria” aquaculture. Agars are used as emulsifiers or binders according to the preference of food technologists. Choices may be national preferences or due to proximity or proximity to a particular resource. For example, “carrageenans” are used in ice cream in certain countries, while other countries may use “alginate” in ice cream.

Today agars that are “food grade” are considered a fairly inexpensive commodity. Good quality agarose can be expensive but is only used for specific applications. Worldwide production of agar is said to be about 7,500 tons with a wholesale value of about $250 million. Agars are used for biotechnological applications such as DNA research, and the unique properties of Phycocolloid agars have made gel electrophoresis possible.

Some of the common types of agars are: Blood agar which has animal blood cells and is a medium for most bacteria; and Chocolate Agar consisting of sheep blood containing factors V and X which are required for the growth of Hemophilia. This nutrient medium is used for the cultivation of fastidious organisms. However, both of these types of agars are not suitable for use by students due to the potential for contamination due to human contact. LB Agar is another subtype which is the common medium used in microbiology studies and therefore ideal for student use as well as the routine cultivation of microorganisms that are generally not troublesome.

MacConkey Agar is another agar on which gram-negative bacteria grow. MacConkey Agar powder is produced in two varieties – one without added sugar and one containing lactose sugar. Neomycin Agar contains the antibiotic Neomycin which is found in medications such as ointments, creams and eye drops. This antibiotic kills both gram negative and positive bacteria. Neomycin agar is mainly used for the anaerobic culture of organisms. This agar allows Streptococcus to grow profusely.

A large number of bacteria and fungi grow on Nutrient Agar which has broth as well as yeast extracts. This type of agar does not allow bacteria that are pathogenic to grow making it good for use by students. Non-nutrient agar is usually not suitable for growing bacteria, but can be used for growing other microorganisms.

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