What is a bacteria stab or yeast stab?
Where is the bacteria or yeast in my kit?
Any Amino Labs experiment kit that contains microorganisms like bacteria or yeast, will have at least one small tube of cells inside a bag within your kit. You'll be able to see a yellow jelly substance in it - agar - and a sticker that lets you know exactly what is inside, like bacteria paint, blank cells or even positive or negative cells for your experimental controls. These are your living bacteria or yeast stored in something called a stab culture or stab.
What is a stab?
A stab is a type of agar media stored in a tube or vial into which the bacteria or yeast can be added. The agar in the stab is similar to a standard agar petri dish, but can be a bit softer. The type of agar in the tube will depend on wether you have yeast, bacteria, or other microorganisms in your stab, just like when you make petri dishes.
In a stab, the microorganisms are "stabbed" inside the agar so they can grow, unlike in a petri dish, where the microorganisms are spread on top of the agar.
The bacteria or yeast then grow from the puncture up towards the top of the agar. This allows them to stay 'fresh', humid and ready to be used much better than if they only grew on the top of the agar. When you use a stab, sometimes you'll have some agar come out of the stab and onto the petri dish you are streaking, and that's ok!
How should I store my bacteria or yeast stab(s)?
Stabs that you receive from Amino Labs should be stored in a refrigerator (at ~4 °C) upon receipt. We recommend you place your whole experiment kit in the refrigerator when you receive it, following the storage instructions on your welcome card and the experiment's manual. This way, your kits and stabs will have a longer shelf life, from 6 to 9 months. Use the "Best by" sticker on each kit containing perishables to know when to use your refrigerated experiment by.