cultivate pure laboratory <cultures> of these microbes

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
The expression "cultivate pure laboratory cultures of these microbes" sounds a bit elusive to me if "culture" means "the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc. in an artificial medium containing nutrients."

So I guess "pure laboratory cultures" mean "cultivation that is purely done in a lab." Some nuance here is beyond me.

What does "pure laboratory cultures" mean then?

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In a preprint posted to the bioRxiv repository1, scientists in Japan report that they have isolated and grown microbes from an ancient lineage of archaea — single-celled microbes that look, superficially, like bacteria but are quite distinct — that was previously known only from genomic sequences.

It took the researchers 12 years to cultivate pure laboratory cultures of these microbes from deep-sea mud. The effort gives scientists their first look at the kind of organisms that could have made the jump from simple, bacteria-like cells to eukaryotes — the group of organisms whose cells have nuclei and other structures, and which includes plants, fungi, and humans and other animals.

Source: Nature 09 AUGUST 2019
Scientists glimpse oddball microbe that could help explain rise of complex life
 
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    "pure" in this case, (I believe) means that the bacteria culture was cultivated (grown) exclusively and only inside the lab......the culture was never exposed to an outside-the-lab environment.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    As we have found in other discussions ( :eek: ) the subsequent text is often helpful.

    Finally, after 12 years of work, the researchers produced a stable lab culture containing only this new Lokiarchaeon and a different methane-producing archaeon. Together, the two microbes formed a symbiotic relationship (similar colonies of bacteria and archaea have been observed before). The scientists named the cultured Lokiarchaeon Prometheoarchaeum syntrophicum.
    This suggests to me that the "pure" here means uncontaminated (for example by other more common microorganisms). All of this work was done in a lab (they had to build a special reactor vessel to mimic the ocean conditions to achieve the result, so the meaning of a culture that was "grown purely/exclusively in a lab" is unlikely.
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    if "culture" means "the cultivation of bacteria, tissue cells, etc. in an artificial medium containing nutrients."
    It has the second meaning here - the output of the cultivation.
    culture - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    7
    • the growing or cultivation of microorganisms, or of tissues, for scientific study, medicinal use, etc.
    • [countable] the cells, tissue, or other products resulting from such cultivation:a bacteria culture.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In theory they could have taken a big scoop of mud from the bottom of the ocean and put it in a special vessel and created a complete miniature ocean-bottom ecosystem in the laboratory. But if you are trying to closely study a specific organism that's not very effective. They wanted a pure culture, one that contained only that organism so they could see how it behaved in different conditions. Changing conditions when it was mixed with hundreds of other organisms wouldn't be useful, because it would be impossible to trace the direct reactions and separate them from indirect reactions via other organisms also being affected.

    So what they had to do was work out exactly what conditions they needed to provide to allow that organism to live outside the natural ecosystem. They had to, often by trial and error, I'm guessing, figure out what salt level to maintain, what pressure to maintain, what level of trace metals to maintain, what pressure of various gases to maintain, what temperature to maintain, what level of water circulation to maintain, etc.

    It seems that, in the end, they couldn't make a truly pure culture, but they did successfully make one with only two organisms, which is a system simple enough to study.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It seems that, in the end, they couldn't make a truly pure culture, but they did successfully make one with only two organisms, which is a system simple enough to study.
    Perhaps the other organism was required for their success:
    Together, the two microbes formed a symbiotic relationship (similar colonies of bacteria and archaea have been observed before).
     
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