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[APD] Agar

> Agar is a polysaccharide extracted from marine red algae.  It is
> resistant to bacterial breakdown, and that is why it is used for
> culturing bacterial colonies.  The bacteria live on nutrients
> provided along with the agar, but do not digest away the agar.  If
> just plain agar is provided, there will be very little bacterial
> growth.  Nonetheless, soil bacteria can slowly break down agar.

"chemical composition of agar is a linear complex sugar made from
beta-galactopyranose linked to 3,6-anhydro-L-galactopyranose. Basically, its
just a polysaccharide/carbohydrate, or complex sugar"

An hour of web searching didn't reveal a chemical formula for agar but I'm
sure its documented somewhere. What's the chemical formula for agar?

I got a lot of hits on Google relating polysaccharides with plant cell
walls. See <http://www.sga.edu/users/trhoads/WWW/BIOLABS/chem.htm>

Will adding simple N or P compounds to agar increase its lability in case it
were used to occlude nutrients in the substrate?

Steve P

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