Learn the toughest concepts covered in Microbiology with step-by-step video tutorials and practice problems by world-class tutors.

10. Dynamics of Microbial Growth

1

Microbial Growth Curves in a Closed System

8m

Play a video:

Was this helpful?

In this video, we're going to begin our lesson on microbial growth curves in a closed system. And so when cells are grown in a lab with a fixed volume of liquid enclosed in a container or a flask, we refer to this as a closed system. And so a closed system is really just a scenario where additional nutrients cannot be added to the container or flask, and waste products cannot be removed from the container or the flask. And so you can pretty much imagine a closed system, somewhat like a closed door, where things cannot go through the door, things cannot be added to the room and the door and things cannot be removed from the room through the door. And so with this closed system, the nutrients, because additional nutrients cannot be added, the nutrients in this closed system are going to be limited and therefore closed system cannot support infinite growth. And so it turns out that bacterial growth in a closed system creates a very characteristic microbial growth curve. And a microbial growth curve is really just this graph or this plot that you see right here in this image. And so notice just to orient you on the Y. Axis of this plot, what we have is the number of cells and a log arrhythmic scale. And so the lower the Y. Axis is the less cells there are and the higher the curve is on the Y. Axis, the more cells there are and then on the X. Axis. What we have is the amount of time that the cells are allowed to be in the closed system. And so what you'll note is that bacterial growth in a closed system actually occurs in four distinct phases that we have numbered down below one through four. And it's important to note that these numbers one through four, for these phases correspond with The numbers one through 4 that we have in the curve down below. And so keep that in mind as we move forward. And so the very first distinct phase of bacterial growth in a closed system is the lag phase. And so in the lag phase things are gonna be lagging behind a little bit. Things are going to be delayed a little bit. And so the cells are going to be, the cells from a pure colony are going to be synthesizing enzymes that are required for cell growth. And so they don't have those enzymes yet, so they're not able to grow. They have to first synthesized the enzymes that are needed to grow before they can actually grow. And so things are gonna be lagging behind a little bit and there is going to be somewhat of a delay before you see tremendous cell grow. And so if we take a look at our first phase down below in this image, the lag phase, you'll notice that things are going to be lagging behind a little bit. Things are going to be delayed. And so notice that the cell here saying, well this is off. Uh this is starting off slow and notice that there is a relatively low number of cells here. The curve is relatively low on the Y axis and there's not a lot of growth occurring in this lag phase. The numbers are pretty low and their remaining low in this period of time. And so this is because the cells are adjusting to their new environment and they're beginning to synthesize the enzymes that they need in order for cell growth to occur. And so after the lag phase, the second phase is the log phase, also sometimes referred to as the exponential phase. And so in this phase, as its name implies, there is going to be exponential growth. Cell division is going to occur at a continuous rate and there will be active growth during this phase. So sometimes it's referred to as the active growth phase. And so if we take a look at our image down below at the second stage here we have the log phase or the exponential phase. So during the lag phase the cells are synthesizing the enzymes that they need for growth. And so at the end of the lag phase and at the beginning of the log phase the cells are able to initiate cell division and they start to increase in the number of cells. So notice that the number of cells is beginning, increase. The curve is going up in relation to the Y. Axis. And so notice the cells are saying let's grow now after the log or exponential phase. The third phase is going to be the stationary phase. And this is when nutrient levels are going to become limited and limited nutrients is going to somewhat make the curve appear stationary, meaning that it's not really appearing to move or change with respect to the Y. Axis. And so it appears that sells stopped growing. And really it's not that the cells stop growing. It's that they are growing at an equal rate that they are dying. The population is growing at an equally equal rate as uh it is dying. And so it appears that there is no growth. And so when we take a look at the third uh phase here we have the stationary phase and notice that the curve appears to plateau here. It gets flat, it does not increase or decrease overall. And the number of cells and this is because the population um is going to be growing and dying at an equal rate and this is because it's starting to get crowded in the closed system, The nutrients are beginning to get limited and so it's not able to allow for continuous exponential growth in the closed system. And so after the stationary phase, the 4th and final phase here is going to be the decline phase, also sometimes referred to as the death phase. Because in this phase the amount of death is going to begin to increase significantly and the number of viable cells are going to start to die off. But what you'll notice if we take a look at our image down below of the death face, uh you'll notice that the curve is definitely decreasing and the number of cells and so ultimately the number of cells is going to decrease a lot here, the cells are going to begin to die and this is once again because the nutrients is limited and there's not really enough nutrients in this closed system to allow for infinite growth. And so ultimately the cells will die all die in a closed system. But what you'll notice is that this curve does not drop off super super immediately. It doesn't go straight down like this and which will notice is that the curve kind of drops off relatively slowly. Cells are dying but it's going down pretty slow in comparison to a curve that you might see dropping down like this immediately. And the reason for this is because as cells start to die, they actually will release their contents into the environment and those contents can serve as additional nutrients that can be used by living cells that are still alive. And so that can allow for the prolonged extension, the prolonged extension of the ones that are alive and uh kind of delay their death. And so that's why the curve goes down relatively slowly. Now, one thing to note is that the growth rate on these microbial growth curves is plotted using a log arrhythmic scale or a log scale for the number of cells. And so that's exactly what you see over here on this side, the log of the number of cells. And so it is going to be critical for you guys to know each of these phases and to be able to identify these phases and no somewhat of what happens during each of these phases. This is something that is commonly tested on by professors. And so this year concludes our lesson on microbial growth curves in a closed system and we'll be able to get some practice applying these concepts as we move forward. So I'll see you all in our next video

2

Problem

The time between inoculation and the beginning of growth in a microbial culture is referred to as:

A

Lag phase.

B

Log phase.

C

Dormant phase.

D

Exponential growth phase.

3

Problem

The log phase of the bacterial growth curve is marked by

A

A decrease in cell mass.

B

Dormant, metabolically inactive cells.

C

Viable cells dying.

D

Vigorously dividing cells.

4

Problem

In the growth curve of a bacterial population, the bacteria are rapidly increasing in number during the:

A

Lag phase.

B

Exponential (log) phase.

C

Stationary phase.

D

Decline phase.

E

Boomer phase.

5

Problem

Rates of cell production and cell death are approximately equal during the _____ phase of microbial growth.

A

Stationary.

B

Death.

C

Intermediate.

D

Lag.

E

Log.

6

Problem

In a rapidly multiplying bacterial population, cell numbers increase

A

Arithmetically.

B

Logarithmically.

C

Linearly.

D

Randomly.

7

Primary & Secondary Metabolites

2m

Play a video:

Was this helpful?

in this video, we're going to begin our lesson on primary and secondary metabolites. And so the early and late stages of the log growth phase or the exponential growth phase can be monitored by the production of certain molecules that we call metabolites. And so really there are two types of metabolites that we're going to differentiate in this video. The first are the primary metabolites. And so the primary metabolites are going to be produced during the early log phase or the early exponential phase and they're going to be used by the cell during normal growth. Now, secondary metabolites are the other type of metabolites and secondary metabolites are going to be produced during the late log phase or the late exponential phase and they are going to be required for cell survival during the stationary phase when the nutrients start to become more limited. And so if we take a look at our image down below, notice that the blue curve that you see here is the same growth curve that we saw in our previous lesson video. But here in this video we've introduced two new curves. This uh this curve right here representing the primary metabolites and this other dotted curve right here representing the secondary metabolites. And what you'll notice is that the primary metabolites are produced during the early exponential phase early on, they are starting to get produced and they are continuously produced throughout this period here. But notice that the secondary metabolites are not really produced during the early phase. They really start to get significant production during the late portion of the exponential phase or the late portion of the log phase. And so these secondary metabolites are mainly going to be used for survival purposes during the stationary phase. And so this year concludes our brief lesson on the difference between primary and secondary metabolites, basically that primary metabolites are produced during early log phase. Uh and secondary metabolites are produced during late log phase. And so we'll be able to get some practice applying these concepts as we move forward. So I'll see you all in our next video.

8

Problem

Which bacterial culture will have the highest growth rate?

A

E. coli bacteria being grown between the temperatures of 37°C & 40°C (optimal temperatures).

B

E. coli bacteria being grown between the temperatures of 15°C & 20°C (minimum temperatures).

C

E. coli bacteria being grown at 45°C (maximum temperature).

D

E. coli bacteria would grow at the same rate at any temperature.

© 1996–2023 Pearson All rights reserved.