An agar plate is a Petri dish that contains a thin layer of nutrient gel that is a growth medium solidified with agar. It is standard solid support material for growing microorganisms. On an agar plate, a single microbe will grow and divide to produce a "colony," which is a spot of identical descendants with the same genetic composition. Different types of microbes produce colonies with different characteristics-shape, color, texture. Sometimes selective compounds are added to influence growth, such as antibiotics, to specifically select one type of microbe or identify the types of microbes in a mixed sample. When selection for one pure type of microbe is desired, you don't want other types of microbes to be present - you want them to get off your lawn.
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