General Microbiology

Incubation Technique and Microscopy

Written by MicroDok


Microorganisms are incubated in the incubator at different temperatures and time interval depending on the oxygen requirement of the organisms among other vital conditions required for optimum growth. Incubation technique is a microbiological procedure which is used to maintain microbial cultures of culture media at a particular ambient temperature at different time intervals. Microbial cultures or culture media can be incubated for hours, days, weeks or for months depending on the time limit required for the propagation of the microorganisms being cultivated. The main reason for this technique is to provide optimum conditions required for the growth of the organism. Some microorganisms (e.g. fungi) are incubated at room temperatures (e.g., 25-28oC); and this implies that the microbial cultures are left to thrive in the normal conditions of the laboratory without putting them in the incubator (where microbial growth occurs at 37oC). This technique allows microbiologists to grow or propagate microbes under optimal growth conditions such as in the presence or absence of oxygen for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria respectively among other environmental conditions required for growth (e.g. pH).


Microscopy is defined as the technical field of using microscopes to view both clinical  and environmental samples or objects that cannot be seen with the unaided or naked eyes. Microscopy is an important microbiological technique which is used by microbiologists to observe the unseen world of microbes too small to be seen by the naked eyes. This technique makes use of the microscope, an instrument used for examining objects that are too small to be seen by the unaided eyes. By forming an enlarged distinct image of the microbe or object being examined, the microscope enables microbiologist to describe and understand the intracellular components of microorganisms. Examples of microscopes used for microbial examination include bright field microscope, phase-contrast microscope, fluorescence microscope and electron microscope among others. See section on Microscopy / Microscope for detailed explanation of microscopy and the different types.


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