Enrichment culture

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An enrichment culture is a medium with specific and known qualities that favors the growth of a particular microorganism. The enrichment culture's environment will support the growth of a selected microorganism, while inhibiting the growth of others. Lourens Bass Becking succinctly summarized enrichment cultures' abilities when he said "everything is everywhere; the environment selects."[1]

The microbiologist (and botanist) Martinus Beijerinck is credited with developing the first enrichment cultures.[2] Sergei Winogradsky also experimented on bacteria using different cultures.[3]


High salt concentration will select for halophiles. High temperatures will select for thermophiles.

Selenite broth is used to selectively isolate Salmonella species. Alkaline Peptone Water is used for the cultivation of vibrio.[4] Both these examples are clinically relevant for clinical microbiology relating to stool samples.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bass-Becking, Lourens G.M. (1934). "Geobiologie of inleiding tot de milieukunde". The Hague, the Netherlands: W.P. Van Stockum & Zoon. 
  2. ^ Beijerinck, Martinus W. (1901). "Anhaufungsversuche mit Ureumbakterien". Centralblatt f. Bakteriologie, II 7: 33–61. 
  3. ^ Winogradsky, Sergei (1890). "Sur les organismes de la nitrification". Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences 110: 1013–1016. 
  4. ^ "Product Center: Alkaline Peptone Water (for Vibrio), 8 mL". Retrieved 28 August 2012.