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Spirit Blue agar

This agar is used to identify organisms that are capable of producing the enzyme lipase. This enzyme is secreted and hydrolyzes triglycerides to glycerol and three long chain fatty acids. These compounds are small enough to pass through the bacterial cell wall. Glycerol can be converted into a glycolysis intermediate. The fatty acids can be catabolized and their fragments can eventually enter the Kreb’s cycle. Spirit blue agar contains an emulsion of olive oil and spirit blue dye. Bacteria that produce lipase will hydrolyze the olive oil and produce a halo around the bacterial growth. The Gram-positive rod, Bacillus subtilis is lipase positive (pictured on the right) The plate pictured on the left is lipase negative.

spirit blue results

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