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In microbiology, laboratory culture containing a single species of organism. A pure culture is usually derived from a mixed culture (containing many species) by methods that separate the individual cells so that, when they multiply, each will form an individually distinct colony, which may then be used to establish new cultures with the assurance that only one type of organism will be present. Pure cultures may be more easily isolated if the growth medium of the original mixed culture favours the growth of one organism to the exclusion of others.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pure culture, visit Britannica.com.