Because the flagellar staining procedure often produces poor results in the hands of novices, other tests for motility (and the presence of flagella) have been developed. One type of test involves using a semi-solid medium that allows motile bacteria to penetrate.
- Obtain a deep of motility agar.
- Using an inoculation needle, stab straight into the deep about 2/3 of the way down and out the same pathway as quickly as possible with your assigned bacterium.
- Incubate the tube for at least 48 hours.
- After the incubation period, examine your tube.
If the organism is motile, growth will ‘fan’ out from the stab or the entire tube may look cloudy. If the organism is non-motile, growth remains confined to the stab line.