Cultivation of unculturable soil bacteria

Trends Biotechnol. 2012 Sep;30(9):475-84. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 Jul 7.


Despite the abundance of bacterial species in soil, more than 99% of these species cannot be cultured by traditional techniques. In addition, the less than 1% of bacteria that can be cultured are not representative of the total phylogenetic diversity. Hence, identifying novel species and their new functions is still an important task for all microbiologists. Cultivating techniques have played an important role in identifying new species but are still low-throughput processes. This review discusses the issues surrounding cultivation, including achievements, limitations, challenges, and future directions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Culture Media
  • Soil Microbiology*


  • Culture Media