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Bacterial Isolation

A mini game where students learn about the proper techniques of isolating single colonies from a culture sample, how to use aseptic techniques and how to perform plate streaking.

About This Simulation

In the Bacterial Isolation simulation, you will investigate the cause of a contamination of poultry meat by a dangerous bacteria strain that is resistant to common antibiotics. After taking samples from the chicken farm, you will need to work in the virtual laboratory to isolate single colonies of the deadly bacteria among a variety of different species. To do so you will learn how to work under sterile conditions, and you will be able to practice and perfect your plate streaking technique. Will you be able to successfully isolate the dangerous bacterial strain?

Identifying ampicillin resistant bacteria

The premise of the lab is a report of ampicillin resistant bacteria in poultry meat. Students visit the place of origination, a chicken farm, to sample in hopes of identifying the bacteria strain. The sample taken contains a variety of bacterial strains and students must identify which strains are resistant to ampicillin by isolating single colonies

Aseptic technique

In this lab, students learn how to use aseptic techniques—for example, remembering to turn on the Bunsen burner and sterile their loop in between streaks.

Plate streaking technique

In order to identify the specific bacteria strain, students need to first perform isolation using the plate streaking technique. In this lab students have an unlimited supply of agar plates and have the opportunity to practice this technique as many times as they would like. Results are given immediately as opposed to waiting a full 24 hours for incubation—as when performed in reality.

Students will also streak a special Salmonella Shigella agar. The Salmonella Shigella agar contains a certain medium that only promotes growth of Gram-positive strains. Each of the different strains will exhibit a certain phenotype when grown on the Salmonella Shigella agar. By using this information students will identify the specific strain that is resistant to ampicillin. The sample will then be sent for further analysis to fully confirm the identity.



Mogens Kilstrup

Mogens Kilstrup

Lecturer, Institute for Systems Biology

Techincal University of Denmark

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the importance of bacterial growth for the investigation of pathological microorganisms
  • Learning how to work under aseptic techniques
  • Understanding the concept of a single colony
  • Learning and perform plate-streaking techniques
  • Using selective media for isolation purposes


  • Colony screening
  • Sterile technique
  • Plate streaking



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