Cork or hole borer is a piece of instrument used to create holes on solid agar media. It is an important tool required for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) in the microbiology laboratory especially when performing agar well diffusion tests or determining the antimicrobial activity of a particular plant product, in which case holes are usually created in agar plates.
Cork borers exist in various sizes (ranging from 1-10 mm), and the one to use depend on the type of investigations to be done or on the experience of the scientists. They provide accurate diameter on agar plates required for well diffusion sensitivity tests in the microbiology laboratory (Figure 1).
The main component of the cork borer includes the metallic handle and a metallic hollow tube with a conical open end for making holes on agar media.
MAINTENANCE/CARE OF THE CORK BORER
- Cork borers are metallic instruments, and should be kept in clean dry places to avoid rusting.
- They should be properly disinfected after use and cleaned with dry towel.
Cheesbrough, M (2006). District Laboratory Practice in Tropical countries Part I Cambridge
Chung K.T, Stevens Jr., S.E and Ferris D.H (1995). A chronology of events and pioneers of microbiology. SIM News, 45(1):3–13.
Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 3rd Edition. Paul Singleton and Diana Sainsbury. 2006, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Canada.
Goldman E and Green L.H (2008). Practical Handbook of Microbiology, Second Edition. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, USA.
Madigan M.T., Martinko J.M., Dunlap P.V and Clark D.P (2009). Brock Biology of microorganisms. 12th edition. Pearson Benjamin Cummings Publishers. USA.
Nester E.W, Anderson D.G, Roberts C.E and Nester M.T (2009). Microbiology: A Human Perspective. Sixth edition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, New York, USA.
Prescott L.M., Harley J.P and Klein D.A (2005). Microbiology. 6th ed. McGraw Hill Publishers, USA.
Willey J.M, Sherwood L.M and Woolverton C.J (2008). Harley and Klein’s Microbiology. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, USA.