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Smear Prep

The first step in most bacterial staining procedures is the preparation of a smear. In a smear preparation, cells from a culture are spread in a thin film over a small area of a microscope slide, dried, and then fixed to the slide by heating or other chemical fixatives. A good smear preparation is the key to a good stain. The following procedure is one that you will do repeatedly throughout the semester, so pay close attention to your technique. The most common errors in staining are due to poor smear preparation. 

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