The Ultimate Guide to Small Petri Dishes for Bacteria Growth in Extreme Conditions

When it comes to studying bacteria growth in extreme conditions, such as in space, the choice of petri dish becomes crucial. The petri dish must be small enough to fit into the limited space available on a spacecraft, yet robust enough to withstand the harsh conditions of space. This article will guide you through the selection of small petri dishes suitable for bacteria growth in extreme conditions.

What is a Petri Dish?

A petri dish, named after German bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri, is a shallow cylindrical glass or plastic lidded dish that biologists use to culture cells, such as bacteria, fungi or small mosses. The dish allows the cells to grow in a nutrient medium under controlled conditions.

Why Use Small Petri Dishes?

Small petri dishes, such as those measuring 35mmx10mm or smaller, are ideal for space missions due to their compact size. They take up less space and weight, which is a critical consideration in space travel where every gram counts. Despite their small size, they provide sufficient surface area for bacteria to grow and multiply.

Choosing a Petri Dish for Extreme Conditions

When selecting a petri dish for use in extreme conditions, consider the following factors:

  • Material: The petri dish should be made of a material that can withstand extreme temperatures and pressures. Polycarbonate and polypropylene are good choices as they are both durable and resistant to chemicals.
  • Seal: The dish should have a tight seal to prevent contamination and leakage of the nutrient medium.
  • Transparency: A transparent dish allows for easy observation of the bacteria growth.

Preparing the Petri Dish for Space Travel

Before sending the petri dish into space, it must be prepared properly. This involves sterilizing the dish and the nutrient medium to kill any existing organisms. The dish is then sealed to prevent contamination during the journey. The bacteria to be studied are introduced into the dish just before launch.


Studying bacteria growth in extreme conditions, such as space, provides valuable insights into how life might survive on other planets. The choice of petri dish plays a crucial role in this research. By choosing a small, robust and well-sealed petri dish, scientists can ensure that the bacteria have the best chance of survival and growth.