Ok, so we have our glorious sample or microorganism or whatever that we’re about to grow. We grow it using special media, such as LB (lysogeny broth) for bacteria and YPD (yeast extract peptone dextrose) for yeast. These media contain basic nutrients like sugars and amino acids, and encourage microorganisms to thrive.
They can be formulated into liquid form (broth) and incubated in flasks, or into gel (agar) form and incubated in Petri dishes (a.k.a. plates). Selective media exist that specifically stimulate or inhibit a certain type of microorganism, making it easier to identify and isolate what we’re growing.
Microorganisms need an energy source such as chemicals and light, as well as the raw materials to make biological products. They can be capable of constructing all the products needed e.g. carbohydrates and proteins (biosynthesis) from a simple pool of chemicals.
Some species may need additional compounds for their metabolic activity. These can be fatty acids or vitamins, and are added to their basic nutrient mix.
Depending on the experiment or application, extra compounds must be added to the growth medium. For example, metabolic precursors would be added to enable a…