The key difference between mammalian and microbial cell culture is that mammalian cell culture is the process of growing animal cells in vitro in a flask or dish, while microbial cell culture is the process of growing microbial cells in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Moreover, mammalian cell cultures need a matrix to adhere, but microbial cells typically do not require a matrix.
Cell culture or cell line is the process of growing cells under controlled conditions in the lab. It is kind of a technique that cultivates cells outside a living organism. Therefore, it is an in vitro method. Cells can be taken from different sources, including plants, animals, bacteria, yeasts and moulds. The expression of target proteins is one of the main applications of cell cultures. Moreover, cell cultures are created in laboratories to study basic cell biology, replicate disease mechanisms, tissue regeneration and transplantation, vaccine production, drug development and drug testing, etc.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Mammalian Cell Culture
3. What is Microbial Cell Culture
4. Similarities – Mammalian and Microbial Cell Culture
5. Mammalian vs Microbial Cell Culture in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Mammalian and Microbial Cell Culture
What is Mammalian Cell Culture?
Mammalian cell culture is the laboratory procedure of growing animal cells in an artificial environment under controlled conditions. Here, animal cells are grown in a flask or dish as a suspension culture or adherent culture. The growing media should be supplemented with nutrients, growth factors, and hormones. Moreover, conditions like temperature, pH, O2 and CO2 contents should be properly maintained. Generally, mammalian cell cultures prefer to grow well at pH 7.4. The optimum temperature varies according to the body temperature of the host animal. Most mammalian and human cell cultures cultivate at 36 °C to 37 °C for optimal growth. Mammalian cell lines are mostly maintained on a relatively simple media supplemented with serum. However, in certain situations, complex media may be required to grow mammalian cell cultures.
Based on the morphology of mammalian cell cultures, there are three basic categories of cell lines. They are fibroblastic, epithelial-like cells and lymphoblast-like cells. In animal cell culture, maintenance of the purity and prevention of contaminations are major challenges. Mammalian cell cultures can be stored or preserved in liquid nitrogen for long term manner for even several years.
What is Microbial Cell Culture?
Microbial cell culture is the process of growing and letting microbes reproduce under controlled laboratory conditions. They are grown on solid agar media or in liquid broths. In molecular biology, microbial cell cultures have many uses. One of the main uses is cloning and expression of target recombinant proteins. Desired genes can be combined into plasmids, and these recombinant plasmids are transformed into a host bacterium in order to express the desired protein products. In addition, microbial cell cultures are useful in diagnosing diseases. Disease causative microbes are isolated and identified in order to diagnose the disease.
Microbial cell cultures can be stored in a refrigerator (5 °C) or a freezer (–20 °C) for a short time, nearly six months, till the next sub-culturing. Cryopreservation is a long term storing method of microbial cell cultures. Liquid nitrogen or a mechanical freezer can be used for the cryopreservation technique.
What are the Similarities Between Mammalian and Microbial Cell Culture?
- Mammalian and microbial cell cultures are laboratory methods to grow cells outside living organisms.
- Therefore, they are in vitro
- These processes are done in laboratories under controlled conditions.
- Both cell cultures require culture media supplemented with nutrients.
- Contaminations should be prevented, and the purity of the cell cultures should be maintained in both cultures.
What is the Difference Between Mammalian and Microbial Cell Culture?
Mammalian cell culture is the process of growing animal cells under controlled conditions in the lab, while microbial cell culture is the process of growing and multiplying microbes under controlled laboratory conditions. So, this is the key difference between mammalian and microbial cell culture. Moreover, generally, mammalian cell cultures need a matrix to adhere. In contrast, microbial cells typically do not require a matrix. Besides, mammalian cell cultures are difficult to work with and are expensive, while microbial cell cultures are easy to work with and less expensive.
The below infographic lists the differences between mammalian and microbial cell culture in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Mammalian vs Microbial Cell Culture
Cell culture is a laboratory method that grows the animal, plant, or microbial cells in an artificially controlled environment. Cells are removed from the source and grown in a medium supplemented with nutrients, growth factors, and hormones. Mammalian cell culture is the process of growing animal cells in vitro. Microbial cell culture is the technique of growing microbial cells in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Moreover, mammalian cell cultures need a matrix to adhere, but microbial cells typically do not require a matrix. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between mammalian and microbial cell culture. Both mammalian and microbial cell cultures are used for clinical and research purposes.
1. Segeritz, Charis-P., and Ludovic Vallier. “Cell Culture: Growing Cells as Model Systems in Vitro.” Edited by Morteza Jalali et al., Basic Science Methods for Clinical Researchers, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2017.
2. Thompson, James. “Bacterial vs. Mammalian Expression Systems.” Caltag Medsystems, 24 July 2019.
1. “Resazurin assay for mammalian cell viability” By – TwoOars – I (- TwoOars) created this work entirely by myself., (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Microbial cultures fridge” By Retama – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply