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>Hoping that I am not risking  a long debate on this subject, I  am aware that 
>the microbiology textbooks indicate that agar itself has no nutrient value 
>(there must be 
>something there-but not much-my own long held opinion). I have used agar and 
>gelatin both in the formulation of home brewed fish foods.  I was never 
>satisfied with either due to a slippery glass surface area developing.  As a 
>result, I attributed this to them and stopped my experimentation of such.
>Elmer L. Morehouse

Agar does indeed lack nutritive qualities in terms of bacteria, and 
Yeasts/molds.  There are exceptions to this.  Some bacteria produce 
agarases, and can digest agar.  For Tom's idea, I'd use agar, agarose is 
terribly expensive.  And for the record here Agarose has not been 
displaced by polyacryilamide (sp?).  They are both used frequently for 
different DNA analysis applications.