Need help creating flowchart for ID-ing microogranism

In summary, the professor gave us the ID of the microbe and we are trying to figure out what tests we need to perform in order to identify it. There are multiple tests that could be used, but which ones will differentiate it the most?
  • #1

Homework Statement

I need help creating flowchart for ID-ing an "unknown" organism. Unknown in quotes because I already know ID of organism.

Homework Equations

gram + (purple) tetrads and cocci
forms yellow colonies on NA plate
catalase +
coagulase -
Nitrate +
oxidase (weakly) +
Bacitracin sensitive (+)
Urease +

The Attempt at a Solution

This is for ID-ing an unknown organism which the professor decided to help us out and gave us the organism ID. The organism is Micrococcus luteus I know all the tests but I am confused about two main things:

1.At what point in a flowchart can you say, yes, this is the organism? I'm guessing this has a lot to do with a presumptive ID, and then a confirmatory ID. But how does one know when you reach that point? Also we never went over the idea a "dichotomous key" but does a dichotomous key help out a lot in flowchart creation?

2.How do I know if I have the correct sequence in the flowchart I am creating, and also, which test is considered presumptive and which is confirmatory?

I obviously started with the gram stain, which gave me purple tetrads. Then I did the catalase test; got bubbles = positive. Next I did the coagulase and it did not clot: = negative. But the next step is confusing me: there are multiple tests I could do, but which tests will differentiate the most?

Also I know what each test is testing for and its implications for ID-ing (I think I do anyway) and I can provide details if that helps in answering question (so you know that I know I mean). This is undergrad intro to microbio, so the test are pretty common and not that techincal.

Thanks for any help at all really appreciate it
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  • #2
Why he didn't just give you the flowchart and ask for you to find it based off the results is beyond me. You need to perform all the tests in order to deduce the identify of your microbe. You can find the microbe using elimination of the other results, which species it could not be and what not. There is no point in creating a flow chart for one species of bacteria. You will have to redo your experiments. I would say he helped you all out too much, because the purpose of the exercise isn't clear after being given the answer. You will need to pretend you don't know the answer already, go through and find the microbe based upon the new results from the experiments. Is this an online course or something?


Related to Need help creating flowchart for ID-ing microogranism

1. What is a flowchart and why is it useful for identifying microorganisms?

A flowchart is a visual representation of a process or system, using symbols and arrows to show the steps and decision points. It is useful for identifying microorganisms because it helps to organize and visualize the steps involved in the identification process, making it easier to follow and understand.

2. What are the basic steps for creating a flowchart for identifying microorganisms?

The basic steps for creating a flowchart for identifying microorganisms include: gathering information about the microorganism, determining the key characteristics to look for, designing the flowchart using appropriate symbols and decision points, and testing and revising the flowchart for accuracy and effectiveness.

3. How do you choose the appropriate symbols and decision points for a flowchart?

The symbols and decision points used in a flowchart should be chosen based on the type of information being presented and the level of detail needed. For identifying microorganisms, common symbols include circles for starting and ending points, rectangles for process steps, and diamonds for decision points. The decision points should be based on key characteristics or tests that will help to differentiate between different microorganisms.

4. What are some common challenges when creating a flowchart for identifying microorganisms?

Some common challenges when creating a flowchart for identifying microorganisms include: determining the appropriate level of detail, choosing the most relevant and accurate tests or characteristics, and ensuring the flowchart is easy to follow and understand. It is important to thoroughly research and test the flowchart to ensure it is accurate and effective in identifying microorganisms.

5. How can a flowchart for identifying microorganisms be used in a laboratory setting?

In a laboratory setting, a flowchart for identifying microorganisms can be used as a guide for technicians and scientists to follow when identifying unknown microorganisms. It can also serve as a reference for training new staff members and can be revised and updated as new information or techniques become available.

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