#5 Agar plates (Kombucha)

Eureka, today ends the pentade about agar plates with a short post about kombucha. The other posts can be found here. I plated some kombucha on a Sabouraud agar plate and incubated it for three days. Here is what I got.


Kombucha culture on Sabouraud agar after three days of incubation

I could observe at least three different colonies:
– Off-white color, even, circular, glossy, convex, 2 mm diameter.
– Transparent, circular, less than 1 mm diameter
– wavy, white, 1 mm diameter

I expect the off-white colonies to be yeasts. The other colonies must be bacteria of some kind. The plate has a distinct vinegar smell. My microscopy analysis revealed that the off-white colonies were again typical Saccharomyces cerevisia yeast cells. And the other colonies are bacteria of different shapes. I did not take any photographs due to lack of time. I am very sorry about that.

Lets summarize, there are several bacteria strains in kombucha as well as yeasts. I am not that surprised about the presence of bacteria as the kombucha had a vinegary smell as I tasted it. There should be some Acetobacter in there I guess. And some other bacteria as well. As well as yeast(s). Can’t tell if there are more than one strain(s).

Well, this is it. The pentade is over. I had a lot of fun with the different bugs and learned a lot of new stuff concerning yeasts and bacteria. I hope you enjoyed it as well. I will post a summary about the different plates by the end of February 2012 with new results as well.

What’s my next project concerning wild bugs? I haven’t planned a new experiment yet but I might try out the potato agar mentioned by BKYeast. If you do not already know BKYeast’s page, please check it out. There are some pretty neat results and pictures of different bugs. Cheers to everyone!


8 thoughts on “#5 Agar plates (Kombucha)

  1. Hey Sam! I’m afraid my post on homebrewed differential media may have to wait until late next week as there are more pressing matters in my life right now (PhD is probably more important than a post about some plates 🙂 ) but at least that’ll give me time for more material to post about as there are a couple new ones I brewed up. You can check the experiments page to get a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes.

  2. Hi Dmitri,
    no worries. My lectures will start again in two weeks and I will be back in the lab as well. So my time will be limited again once more. I wish you all the best for your PhD work. I will try your agar recipe anyway. And please don’t feel obligated to post any results due to my impatience 🙂
    Cheers from Europe where the clock tells you 1:33 AM

  3. Sam, I really enjoyed this series of posts. I never really thought of doing kombucha as I don’t really like vinegar, but it might be interesting if nothing else than for plating out and perhaps isolating those cells. I’m not entirely sure why I find it so interesting but it’s really fun to hunt for saccharomyces that don’t come from a lab.

    Dmitri, good luck with your PhD work!

  4. Hi Dmitri,
    I don’t like vinegar as well 🙂 And thats why I made just one batch of kombucha… I just plated the bugs for fun and find out what is in there.
    I have to correct you, I am a Master’s student, not a PhD student. If all goes according to plan then I will have my Master’s degree in late 2013, and then go back to work again. Maybe start a PhD education in 2014? I do not necessarily need a PhD as normal University students do because I have a very different educational background. If I would have gone straight to the University then I would be a PhD student as well 🙂 But I did an apprenticeship first (gives you working experience and money) and went to an University for Applied Sciences where I did my Bachelor’s degree. This degree is enough to go back to work in a company as a chemist. But I chose to go further and started at the University as a Master’s student.


    • Hahahaha Sam you misunderstood. DCY’s last sentence was addressing me, similar to “Sam, good luck with your next beer!” while the previous text was directed at you 🙂
      As for education background I got Bachelor’s in Biotechnology while working in a lab of the program director as a student researcher (hardcore RNA biochem lab, which may explain why I love biochem and RNA) and went straight into a PhD program right after graduation. Right now I have a test on Tuesday and must study study study!

      • Oops, I must have misread the last sentence there… I am sorry guys 🙂 I hope no harm is done, right? How embarrassing…

        Wow, I am really interested in RNA biochemistry as well. Maybe I can write my Master thesis about a mitochondrial tRNA transport mechanism in Trypanosoma brucei.

        Here in Switzerland you must have a Master’s degree to start a PhD education. Meaning, first a Bachelor’s then a Master’s degree and top it with a PhD if you like. There is no other way like doing some lab work for some time and start with a PhD.

        Dmitri, good luck with your exam on Tuesday 🙂 (I have one on Tuesday too…)

        • You have got to be joking!
          All my work before starting PhD was on human mitochondrial tRNA processing! Focusing on 3′ end maturation (processing by tRNaze ZL) and structural aspects because mitochondrial tRNAs don’t follow canonical rules/structure. Wow that is just uncanny!
          I’ll have a couple papers coming out this year (one in April, one was just submitted for a review, and another one I’m still writing). Perhaps they could be interesting for you.

          • Haha, that’s awesome! The labs will publish available positions and topics for Master thesis in a few weeks. And I will try to get in the tRNA group. I am very fascinated about RNA in general. In particular, how it can work as enzymes. But unnatural tRNAs for expanding the genetic code are quite fascinating as well. And I will attend a lecture about RNA processing next week as well… 🙂


Comments are closed.