Prelims 2021

Q. Consider the following:
Which of the above can be cultured in an artificial/synthetic medium?

a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Correct Answer: a) 1 and 2 only

Question from UPSC Prelims 2021 GS Paper

Explanation : 

Culturing Bacteria

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that can be grown on various nutrient agar plates or in broth cultures. The media can be tailored to support the growth of specific bacteria by providing the necessary nutrients, such as carbon sources, nitrogen, vitamins, and minerals. Some bacteria require more specialized media if they have particular growth requirements, but in general, many bacteria can be cultured in the laboratory using artificial media.

Fungi Cultivation

Fungi, which include yeasts and molds, can also be cultured on artificial media. These organisms may require different nutrients compared to bacteria, often needing a source of carbon and nitrogen, among other nutrients. Fungi can grow on solid media like agar plates or in liquid cultures.

Viruses and Culture Limitations

In contrast to bacteria and fungi, viruses are not living organisms in the traditional sense; they are obligate intracellular parasites. Viruses require a host cell to replicate and cannot carry out metabolic processes on their own. As such, they cannot be cultured on artificial or synthetic media alone. To culture viruses, researchers must use living cells, such as cell lines derived from animals or humans, that the virus can infect, providing the necessary machinery for viral replication.

Therefore, the correct answer is “1 and 2 only” because bacteria and fungi can be cultured in artificial/synthetic media, while viruses cannot and require living host cells for propagation.

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