Cultivating Fastidious Microbes

Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


Cultivation of microorganisms is necessary for testing hypotheses generated from cultivation-independent microbial community analysis and modern “omics” techniques, yet many of the organisms identified using these methods resist cultivation with enrichment-, selection-, or solid medium-based approaches. Success in isolating some of the “most wanted” microorganisms has come from dilution-to-extinction methodology in a high-throughput format which effectively isolates cells upon inoculation and allows for competition-free growth in sterilized natural milieu or defined media. This methodology has been revolutionary to studies of marine microorganisms, where many of the most abundant taxa are also very small, slowly growing cells that are adapted to low nutrient concentrations and frequently have complicated nutrient requirements that are not easily predicted from geochemical data. Coupling dilution-to-extinction inoculation with large numbers of wells and monitoring with highly sensitive flow cytometry provides a means to bring many important and elusive microbial taxa into the laboratory and thus support experimental investigation of their physiological capabilities.


Artificial medium Cultivation Culturing Flow cytometry High-throughput culturing Marine medium Microbiology 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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