agar gelling

Kathleen Archer Kathleen.Archer at MAIL.CC.TRINCOLL.EDU
Wed Oct 9 09:21:19 EST 1996

In reply to Chris Minor who wrote:

"Actually, .7% agar is pretty common in plant tissue culture and .8% is
pretty standard for bacterial applications.  I just poured a batch of .7%
and it gelled really nice.  When I've had this problem in the past it is
usually because I didn't stir and bring it to a full boil BEFORE
autoclaving it.  I know, the autoclave boils it, but it just doesn't do the
job alone.  Any explanations for that one??"

I routinely autoclave my agar media *without* boiling first, and never have
any trouble with gelling.  I do notice that the bottom of the media appears
cloudy after autoclaving, while the top appears more clear - I swirl to
distribute while still warm, and it always gels.

Kathleen Archer
Dept. Biology
Trinity College
Hartford, CT 06106

e-mail: kathleen.archer at
Ph:     (203) 297-2226

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