Petri dish


Petri dish

A Petri dish is a shallow glass or plastic cylindrical lidded dish that biologists use to culture cells. It was named after the German bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri (1852–1921) who invented it in 1887 when working as an assistant to Robert Koch. Glass Petri dishes can be re-used by sterilization (for example, dry heating in a hot air oven at 160 °C for one hour); plastic Petri dishes must be disposed of after use.

For microbiology, agar plates are very frequently used. The dish is partially filled with warm liquid agar along with a particular mix of nutrients, salts and amino acids and, optionally, antibiotics. After the agar solidifies, the dish is ready to receive a microbe-laden sample (although to grow some microbes it is often necessary to apply the sample with the hot agar). Although agar is not always necessary to grow bacterial cultures, it is the most commonly used practice among biologists and other individuals in the scientific profession.

Other Petri dish uses do not involve agar; for instance, cell culture.

Modern Petri dishes often have rings on the lids and bases which allow them to be stacked so that they do not slide off one another. Multiple dishes can also be incorporated into one plastic container to create what is called a "multi-well plate".

As well as making agar plates, empty Petri dishes may be used to observe plant germination or small animal behaviour, or for other day-to-day laboratory practices such as drying fluids in an oven and carrying and storing samples.

Laboratory equipment


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Petri dish — ► NOUN ▪ a shallow transparent dish with a flat lid, used for the culture of micro organisms. ORIGIN named after the German bacteriologist Julius R. Petri (1852 1922) …   English terms dictionary

  • petri dish — [pē′trē] n. [after J. R. Petri (1852 1921), Ger bacteriologist] [also P d ] a very shallow, cylindrical, transparent glass or plastic dish with an overlapping cover, used for the culture of microorganisms …   English World dictionary

  • petri dish — 1892, named for Ger. bacteriologist Julius Petri (1852 1922), who first devised it c.1887 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Petri dish — n. a shallow covered dish used for the culture of bacteria etc. Etymology: J. R. Petri, Ger. bacteriologist d. 1921 * * * Petri dish f42 [Petri dish Petri dishes] [ˈpetri dɪʃ] [ˈpetri dɪʃ] [ˈpiːtri dɪʃ] [ˈpiːtri dɪʃ] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Petri dish — UK [ˈpiːtrɪ ˌdɪʃ] / US [ˈpɪtrɪ ˌdɪʃ] noun [countable] Word forms Petri dish : singular Petri dish plural Petri dishes science a flat dish with a lid that is used in laboratories, especially for growing cultures …   English dictionary

  • petri dish — noun Etymology: Julius R. Petri died 1921 German bacteriologist Date: circa 1892 1. a small shallow dish of thin glass or plastic with a loose cover used especially for cultures in bacteriology 2. something (as a place or situation) that fosters… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Petri dish — [[t]pe̱tri dɪ̱ʃ[/t]] Petri dishes N COUNT A Petri dish is a flat dish with a lid, used in laboratories for producing cultures of microorganisms …   English dictionary

  • petri dish — pe·tri dish pē trē n a small shallow dish of thin glass or plastic with a loose cover used esp. for cultures in bacteriology Pe·tri pā trē Julius Richard (1852 1921) German bacteriologist. Petri was an assistant to the eminent bacteriologist… …   Medical dictionary

  • petri dish — pe′tri dish [[t]ˈpi tri[/t]] n. a shallow, circular, glass or plastic dish with a loose fitting cover over the top and sides, used for culturing microorganisms • Etymology: 1890–95; after J. R. Petri (d. 1921), German bacteriologist …   From formal English to slang

  • Petri dish — /ˈpitri dɪʃ/ (say peetree dish) noun a shallow, circular dish, usually of glass, used especially for growing bacteria, etc. {named after JR Petri, 1852–1922, German biologist} …   Australian English dictionary


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