In this experiment, the purpose is to determine the metabolic activities of the four bacterial cultures: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and Proteus vulgaris. As well as to understand the basic procedures for aseptically performing the experiment to contain accurate results. To do determine the metabolic activities of the organisms, four tests are conducted. The first test is the fermentation of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates used are glucose, lactose and sucrose. The process of fermentation is to enable the cycling of NADH to NAD+; the electrons from NADH are directly transferred to a final electron accepto (Wessner et al., 2013). Fermentation an anaerobic process but can be used in the presence of oxygen as well, and its purpose is to provide NAD+ molecules for the process of glycolysis to produce ATP (Wessner et al., 2013). To test for fermentation in this lab, broth tubes are prepared containing nutrients, a specific carbohydrate and a pH indicator, bromocresol purple (Reiner, 2013). Inside these test tubes also contain an inverted (Durham) tube which captures any gasses produced from the fermentation process. The second test is the production of indole. Organisms capable of breaking down tryptophan produce the by-product indole (Li et al., 2013). To see if indole is present, a reagent is used. Kovac’s reagent combined with indole produced a pink ring at the top of the broth. (Remel, 2015). The third test is the activity of urease. This test is used to determine if the organisms produce the enzyme urease to break down urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide (Christensen, 1946). The ammonia is then broken down to produce a source of nitrate for the organism (Wessner et al., 2013). To de...
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...the final electron acceptor is not sulfate. These three organisms do not produce hydrogen sulfide therefore the test tubes have no colour change.
In general, the four tests for metabolic activities are very useful in determining the properties of different organisms. These tests would be useful when you want to distinguish between different species of organisms because different species of organisms have specific metabolic preferences. Overall, the expected results from Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4 match the ideal results in Table 5. Some sources of error that could have occurred through random errors; the cultures of organisms were shared amongst the whole class therefore, cross contamination could have occurred. Another potential source of error could result from the test tubes not containing the right amounts of nutrients or carbohydrates for the organism to metabolize.
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