Indiana Biolab Bacteria Supplies

Some kits require foods and items commonly present in homes.
Our cultures and supplies are for investigational and educational use only; they are not approved for food or drug use. Kit prices may change during 1999.

Indiana Biolab began producing high quality seeds, plants, supplies, and cultures in 1939. The Internet allows us to offer a number of items which K-12 students, teachers, home schoolers, amateur scientists, gardeners, and farmers have trouble finding. We keep costs low by buying agar and other ingredients direct from the importers and manufactuers in large drums. These are the same supplies we use in our own laboratory work.

Recommended amout of agar to use - also see B030 cat1051
13 x 100 mm culture tube needs 2.5 to 6 ml of medium depending on use planned.
16 x 150 mm culture tube requires 5 to 10 ml of medium
18 x 150 mm culture tube requres 5 to 10 mL of medium
15 x 100 mm petri plate (dish) requires 15 to 25 mL of medium
10 x 60 mm petri plate requires 10 mL of medium. (We do not offer 60mm dishes.)

1051 - Quick Start Check List - Read this to save time and money and avoid errors.

Bacteria Agar or Prepared Medium Kits

We designed these kits to help students get agar without buying large containers and paying large shipping costs. Some have been priced so you can send stamps in payment. We have found that 15 or 18 grams of media in a flat plastic envelope with wrapping paper is the maximum that can be sent under one 33 cent stamp. You should get the kit 2 days after mailing. One kit arrived in Alaska 2 days after mailing. Do not forget that everything that touches your medium must be sterile by cooking 15 minutes at 15 pounds pressure in a pressure cooker.

Kit A - $1.65 - 15 grams of Bacteriological Agar.

POSTPAID. Agar contains no food value. Use it to gel broths (liquid medium). Students can do many experiments with Kit A even when they have no balance for weighing. Begin by dumping the agar in a uniform windrow and dividing into 3 equal sections of 5 grams each. Each 5 grams will gel 500 ml of medium. You can divide a 5 gram windrow and get 2 each 2.5 gram piles (each gels 250 ml). Divide again and you have the agar for 125 mL lot of medium. Divide again and you can gel a 50 to 60 mL volume of medium. Another more accurate method is to disperse your 15 grams of agar into 375 ml of cool water and then with stirring bring to a slow boil for 2 to 4 minutes and then dispense in known amounts. This thick 4X agar will be difficult to handle. If desired you could allow the portions of 4X agar to dry for simple long term storage. Another method is melt the 15 grams of agar in 750 ml of water so you have 2X agar. Then adding 1 volume of 2X agar to l volume of 2X broth gives you 2 volumes of 1X medium.

Since you only need 2.5 to 6 ml of medium in a 13 x 100 mm (outside dimensions) culture tube, a 50 or 60 mL lot of agar medium will make 10 to 20 tubes or 2 each petri plates of size 15 x 100 mm. Thus, Kit A will gel 60 each 15 by 100 petri plates or 500 each 13 x 100 tubes. or any combination.

It is easy to find foods in the kitchen to make media for bacteria, fungi, and yeast experiments. Cook potato slices, add corn syrup to potato water and use as PD broth or add agar and get PDA (agar). Both are superb media for many bacteria and fungi from fruit rots, plants, and soil. Soak hamburger or ground beef liver in water overnight or for a few hours and then cook and the broth or the complete medium with particles makes a superb medium for most bacteria. Skim milk is a good medium.

Kit B - $1.98 - 10 grams of Agar and 6 gram packet of TGY agar

POSTPAID 10 grams of agar and 6 grams of TGY agar. The agar will gel 1000 mL of broths that you have made. The 6 grams of TGY agar is complete; add 250 ml of tap or distilled water, dispense into bottles or tubes, autoclave, cool and use. TGY is a complete medium which will support the growth of most common bacteria. TGY contains 1 gram of glucose per liter. You may add other sugars for fermentation studies.

Kit C - $1.98 - 22 gram packet of TGY agar.

POSTPAID Just add 1 liter of water, boil 2 minutes and you have a liter of TGY agar.

Kit D - $10.00 - Agar, TGY agar, plus package of Petri Dishes.

POSTPAID 10 grams of agar, 22 grams of TGY agar, 20 sterile plastic 15 X 100 mm petri dishes. The agar will gel 1000 mL of broths that you have made--see our web pages for ideas. The 22 grams of TGY agar is complete makes 1 liter of medium--just add 1 liter of tap or distilled water, dispense into bottles or tubes, autoclave, cool and use. TGY is a complete medium which will support the growth of most common bacteria.

Kit E - $7.00 - Culture tubes with KimKaps, pipets.

POSTPAID 30 each 13 x 100 culture tubes with caps, 3 fermentation gas collection tube sets, 0.1 (2), 1.0 (2), 5.0 (1), and 10.0 (1) mL pipets (5 total). These supplies will enable a child to conduct many high quality science kits of many types over a period of years. Combine with kit D and deduct the $2 postage we save. Kit D + Kit E = $15 postpaid.

Kit ? - $?.00 - __Cultures "Harmless" Bacteria

This kit is still being planned. If interested, email us.

POSTPAID These bacteria are widely used in classrooms and are believed to be incapable of causing abnormal human infections. If food is infected and eaten, some degree of discomfort may or may not result. Never rub eyes, nose, mouth, wounds, or body with contanimated hands or articles.

Postage is included in the price of the kits listed above

Items below are not postpaid.
Shipping is $4.00 per order and Indiana Biolab pays all shipping over $4.00

Kit NK - Negotiated Kits

The contents and prices are negotiated by e-mail and are supplied by Indiana Biolab from working supplies. We send agar, media, culture tubes, sterile plastic petri plates, non-serile pipets, cultures of bacteria, fungi, phages, yeasts, and other items as the student needs. In most cases the student supplies potato, hambuger, other foods, glassware he has at home or school, and measuring devices. The following examples are typical from the years of helping customers. Not limited to biology experiments.

$ 8.00 for supplies and $ 2.00 postage.- culture tubes, media, cultures, etc as negotiated by email to enable a sudent to carry out a simple science project; postpaid. Single shipment.

$20.00 for supplies and $5.00 postage - culture tubes, media, cultures, etc as negotiated by email to enable a sudent to carry out a complex science project or many months of home research project. Such a project would probably consist of shipments $3 and $2 for postage. We would send what student wants, after some work, he is likely to find he needs other things and the second shipment is made. It is the nature of science projects that the exact needs are seldom known in the beginning.

We have helped many students win science honors. We are primarily interested in helping students who want to spend a few years on a project or a series of projects. One student visited our lab a couple times, got supplies from us and others, borrowed books from many people, and won the biology division top prize at the International Science Fair. He worked about 3 years on that bacterial genetics project.

A student should begin a project about a year in advance so he has time to follow some of the interesting turns that come up as the work progesses. That gives the family time to choose and purchase holiday gifts that will further the project. Such a project is safe and lots of fun because it is never hurried. There is time to find useful items at thrift stores and interesting specimens in nature. Begin such long term projects by just doing something interesting without worrying about the nature of the final science fair exhibit. What began as a chemistry project could end up as s physics or genetics project. Such a student will have had a really enjoyable year.

Bacteria Cultures

Our regular price for cultures is $2 each, but special kits may be less. Postage is at cost and usually runs $2 or $3 per shipment. Most cultures are in 16 by 125 mm screw-cap culture tubes. Most survive best in refrigerator, but some last longer at room temperature. Some need transfer 3 or 4 times per year, but some survive decades in our lab between transfer. Different isolates of the same species often differ in length of time they will survive between transfers. We can supply extra tubes of our stock culture medium for each species @ 30 cents per screw-cap tube of medium. If there is interest we will increase the number of species offered. We sometimes lose cultures and then must cancel orders for that strain.

Bacteria strains presently available $2 per culture.

126A --- Bacillus coagulans flat sour organism spoils tomato; from helms
137A --- Bacillus licheniformis NRS 1128 phage host
142D --- Bacillus megaterium NRS 234
145 ----- Bacillus polymyxa NRRL B-694
149A --- Bacillus pumilus
168WT - Bacillus subtilis used as wild type in Bacillus genetics--may not be alive
279 ----- Clostridium bifermentans
281 ----- Clostridium butyricum
798 ----- Rhodopseudomonas palustris
803 ----- Rhodosprilillum rubrum
836 ----- Serratia marcescens

Escherichia coli strains presently available for $2 per culture. These strains are the standard strains used as hosts for bacteriophages and in bacteriology experiments.

B -------- Host for T2, T4, T6 wild type phages; from Jan Drake
BB ------ amber mutants will not grow on this host; from Jan Drake
BB su+ -- amber mutants will grow on this host; from John Reeve
K12 L- -- free of lambda phage; therefore, rII mutants will grow on it; from Jan Drake
CA63 --- usual host for growing amber mutants of phage T4; from Jan Drake
S/6/5 ---- from Harris Bernstein

Plastic Petri Dishes (plates) Disposeable

These are the standard polystyrene clear plastic used by everyone. They are supplied sterile in strong sealed plastic bags of 20 dishes. They are 15 mm deep and 100 mm diameter. When working with non-pathogenic bacteria these may be washed, sterilized in Chlorox, rinsed in sterile water, and reused. See b027.htm .

Sterile packet of 20 dishes - - - - - $4.50   not postpaid. Weight with packing is 1 pound

Sterile packet of 20 dishes - - - - - $4.50   150 mm diaemeter, commonly used for antibiotic disks assays and other tests requring large amounts of space. Also used for rearing insects.


These are glass with blue markings. They are disposable grade, but with care they can be reused many years. High heat sterilization, strong detergents, alkali, and acids may damage or remove markings. If you wish you can use a file to mark the top graduation of 0.1 ml pipets or any other graduation and then you can use them after the blue markings are gone. These pipets are non-sterile. They are easier to use than reuseable pipets. All are TD (to deliver). (Allow the entire contents to run out for correct volume).

Volume Divison Price
0.1 mL 0.01 mL 20 cents
1.0 mL 0.01 mL 20 cents
5.0 mL 0.1 mL 30 cents
10.0 mL 0.1 mL 40 cents

Disposable Glass Culture Tubes with Kim Kaps

Culture tubes have straight walls and rounded bottoms. The do not flare out into a pouring lip as test tubes do. The straight walls allow use of metal or plastic caps. We supply these tubes with polyethylene KimKaps which fit via internal plastic ridges which insure an air supply. Contents remain sterile when kept out of strong air currents (avoid fans) by experienced workers. We suggest beginners wrap the tubes with plastic wrap. To save the labor of washing, professional labs discard these tubes after a single use. Amateurs can autoclave the used tubes, for safety, and then wash and reuse them. Diameter is nominal outside diameter. Due to the thin walls some breakage during use and shipping may occur.

Diameter Height Volume Price Pack Price
? mm ? mm ? cents
13 mm 100 mm 5 cents
16 mm 150 mm 6 cents
18 mm 150 mm 7 cents
20 mm 150 mm 8 cents

Screw Cap Tubes - Disposable Grade

At Indiana Biolab, we maintain our stock cultures in these tubes because most of the caps fit tightly enough to exclude dust and mites and prevent evaporation so that cultures last for years if the species is capable of such long life. We mostly use the 16 x 125 mm size.

16 mm diameter x 125 mm with white polypropylene caps ------ 20 cents each with screw cap.
13 mm diameter x 100 mm bakelite caps with rubber liners ----- 20 cents each with screw cap..

Order from Indiana Biolab

Indiana Biolab
14045 Huff Street
Palmyra IN 47164

Shipping is $4.00 per order. We pay all shipping costs over $4.00. Personal checks accepted, whether we must wait for check to clear depends upon how well we know you. We welcome inquiries. We are not set up to accept credit cards.

There are electric heat tubes which get red hot inside, you can hear the splatter but it is inside. Most hospitals use those. Current price is about $230. It is Oxford Bacti-Cinerator III draws 1.1 amps 120 Volts, 136 watts. It is slightly used, but has no scratches, discolor, or damage. .. $99.00

You may send private e-messages to Dr. Eddleman and he will reply, usually within 24 hours.

First installed January 1999      Revision #1 1999 Feb 1
Written by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., President, Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164
| Indiana Biolab | Home Micro Lab | Bacteria Evironmental Needs | Food Microbiology |