Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Somerville and Proctor BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:9


Copyright 2013 Somerville and Proctor; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bacterial cultivation requires consideration of three things: The bacterial strain, cultivation medium, and cultivation conditions. Most microbiologists dutifully report their choice of strains and cultivation media in manuscripts; however, these same microbiologists often overlook reporting cultivation conditions. Without this information, it is difficult to determine if cultures were grown aerobically, microaerobically, or anaerobically. To cultivate bacteria aerobically, it is necessary to understand that oxygen does not readily diffuse into culture media; it needs help to get in. Microbiologists can do this by altering the flask-to-medium ratio, rpm of agitation, and/or the concentration of atmospheric oxygen, or by using baffled flasks.