Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA): A Comprehensive Guide for Microbiologists - Today Resepi Ideas

Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA): A Comprehensive Guide for Microbiologists

Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) is a versatile and widely used culture medium in microbiology. Its unique composition makes it ideal for the cultivation of a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the ingredients, equipment, methods, sterilization techniques, applications, and storage guidelines for PDA agar.

Whether you are a seasoned microbiologist or a novice seeking to expand your knowledge, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to successfully prepare and utilize PDA agar in your laboratory.

PDA agar is a nutrient-rich medium that provides microorganisms with the necessary carbon, nitrogen, and mineral sources for growth. It is commonly used for the isolation, cultivation, and maintenance of microorganisms. The preparation of PDA agar involves several steps, each of which plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and sterility of the medium.


pda agar recipe

Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) is a growth medium commonly used for cultivating fungi and other microorganisms. It is composed of several key ingredients, each playing a specific role in providing nutrients and supporting microbial growth.

The main ingredients of PDA agar include:

Potato Extract

  • Provides a rich source of carbohydrates, including glucose and starch, which serve as energy sources for microorganisms.
  • Typically prepared by boiling potatoes in water and filtering the resulting liquid.
  • Concentration of potato extract varies depending on the desired consistency of the agar.

Dextrose (Glucose)

  • An additional source of readily available carbohydrates, further supplementing the energy supply for microorganisms.
  • Added as pure dextrose or as part of the potato extract.
  • Concentration typically ranges from 10 to 40 grams per liter of medium.


  • A polysaccharide derived from red algae that acts as a gelling agent, providing a solid surface for microbial growth.
  • Added as a powder or flakes, typically at a concentration of 15 to 20 grams per liter of medium.
  • When dissolved in hot water and cooled, agar forms a semi-solid gel that supports the growth of microorganisms.

Other Additives

  • Depending on the specific application, additional ingredients may be added to PDA agar, such as antibiotics to inhibit bacterial growth or specific nutrients to support the growth of particular microorganisms.
  • These additives are typically added in small amounts and tailored to the specific requirements of the experiment or cultivation.


Preparing PDA agar requires specific equipment to ensure proper mixing, sterilization, and pouring of the medium. Each piece of equipment plays a crucial role in the process.

Essential equipment includes:

  • Autoclave: Sterilizes the PDA agar solution and equipment by exposing them to high pressure and temperature.
  • Pressure cooker: An alternative to an autoclave for sterilization, but it operates at lower pressure.
  • Erlenmeyer flask: Used for preparing the PDA agar solution and mixing its components.
  • Measuring cylinder: Accurately measures the volume of liquids, such as water and potato extract.
  • Magnetic stirrer: Mixes the PDA agar solution thoroughly, ensuring uniform distribution of components.
  • pH meter: Measures the pH of the PDA agar solution, which is crucial for optimal growth of microorganisms.
  • Laminar flow hood: Provides a sterile environment for pouring the PDA agar into petri dishes, minimizing contamination.
  • Petri dishes: Flat-bottomed dishes used for pouring and solidifying the PDA agar.


Preparing PDA agar involves a straightforward process with specific temperature and time requirements. The following steps Artikel the methods for preparing PDA agar:

Step 1: Preparation of Potato Extract

1. Wash and peel approximately 200 grams of potatoes, removing any blemishes or eyes.

2. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and place them in a blender or food processor.

3. Add 500 milliliters of distilled water to the blender and blend until a smooth puree is formed.

4. Strain the potato puree through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh sieve into a clean container.

5. Collect the filtrate, which is the potato extract, and set it aside.

Step 2: Preparation of Agar Solution

1. Weigh out 15 grams of agar powder.

2. Add the agar powder to 500 milliliters of distilled water in a heat-resistant flask or container.

3. Stir the mixture until the agar powder is completely dissolved.

4. Heat the agar solution to 121°C (250°F) in an autoclave or pressure cooker for 15 minutes to sterilize it.

Step 3: Mixing Potato Extract and Agar Solution

1. Once both the potato extract and the agar solution are prepared and sterilized, combine them in a sterile container.

2. The ratio of potato extract to agar solution should be 1:1 (v/v).

3. Mix the two solutions thoroughly to ensure even distribution.

Step 4: Pouring into Petri Dishes

1. While the PDA agar mixture is still hot, pour it into sterile Petri dishes.

2. Fill the Petri dishes to a depth of approximately 4-5 millimeters.

3. Allow the PDA agar to cool and solidify at room temperature.

Variations and Modifications

Variations and modifications to the PDA agar recipe can be made to suit specific experimental needs. For example:

  • The concentration of agar can be adjusted to alter the firmness of the agar.
  • Additional nutrients, such as glucose or yeast extract, can be added to the PDA agar to support the growth of certain microorganisms.
  • Antibiotics or other antimicrobial agents can be incorporated into the PDA agar to inhibit the growth of unwanted microorganisms.


Sterilization is crucial in PDA agar preparation as it eliminates microorganisms that can contaminate the medium and compromise experimental results.

Various sterilization techniques are employed, including:


  • Autoclaving involves subjecting the medium to high pressure and temperature (121°C for 15 minutes) in an autoclave.
  • This method effectively kills all microorganisms, including spores.


  • Filtering involves passing the medium through a membrane with pores small enough to retain microorganisms.
  • This method is suitable for heat-sensitive media or when autoclaving is not feasible.

Proper Sterilization Procedures

  • Prepare the medium according to the specified recipe.
  • Dispense the medium into appropriate containers (e.g., petri dishes, flasks).
  • Choose an appropriate sterilization method based on the medium’s characteristics.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the selected sterilization technique.
  • After sterilization, store the medium appropriately to prevent contamination.


PDA agar is a versatile medium with a wide range of applications in microbiology. It is commonly used for the cultivation and isolation of various microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi.

PDA agar provides an optimal growth environment for many microorganisms due to its nutrient composition. It is particularly suitable for culturing microorganisms that require complex nutrients and growth factors.

Examples of Microorganisms Grown on PDA Agar

  • Bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Fungi: Aspergillus niger, Penicillium chrysogenum, Candida albicans


pda agar recipe

Proper storage of PDA agar is crucial to maintain its quality and extend its shelf life. The optimal storage conditions for PDA agar are as follows:

  • Temperature: Store PDA agar at a temperature between 2-8°C (35.6-46.4°F). Avoid freezing PDA agar, as this can damage its structure and affect its performance.
  • Light: Store PDA agar in a dark place or wrap it in aluminum foil to protect it from light exposure. Light can degrade the agar and affect its stability.
  • Moisture: Keep PDA agar dry and avoid exposure to moisture. Moisture can promote bacterial growth and contaminate the agar.

Under these optimal storage conditions, PDA agar typically has a shelf life of 6-12 months. However, factors such as temperature fluctuations, exposure to light, and contamination can affect its stability and shorten its shelf life.


In conclusion, PDA agar is an indispensable culture medium in microbiology, offering a versatile and reliable platform for the cultivation of a wide range of microorganisms. Its ease of preparation, sterilization, and storage makes it a practical choice for laboratories of all sizes.

By following the guidelines Artikeld in this guide, you can effectively prepare and utilize PDA agar to support your microbiological research and applications.

FAQ Summary

What is the purpose of potato extract in PDA agar?

Potato extract provides a rich source of carbon and energy for microorganisms, promoting their growth and metabolism.

Why is dextrose added to PDA agar?

Dextrose serves as a readily available energy source for microorganisms, supporting their rapid growth and multiplication.

What is the role of agar in PDA agar?

Agar is a gelling agent that solidifies the medium, providing a solid surface for microorganisms to grow on and allowing for easy observation and manipulation.

How can I sterilize PDA agar?

PDA agar can be sterilized by autoclaving at 121°C for 15 minutes or by filtration through a 0.22 µm filter.

What is the optimal storage temperature for PDA agar?

PDA agar should be stored at 4°C to maintain its stability and prevent contamination.

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