Use of Incubation Temperature for Selective Isolation

Temperature alone can be a highly selective mechanism for the selective isolation of specific groups of organisms. Incubation at 55-65C will ensure the sole development of obli-gately thermophilic organisms such as Bacillus stearothermophilus. Determination of the number of bacteria on fish generally involves incubation of culture plates at 20°C and resulting development of psychrotrophic organisms that grow optimally at about 25°C and which are also capable of growth at 2°C. By incubating the plates at 10°C, and then replica-plating the resulting colonies to sets of plates incubated at 10 and 20°C, one can readily identify and isolate obligately psychrophilic fishery bacteria, capable of growth from 0-17°C but unable to grow at 20°C (23).

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