Other common names

This product is widely known under the name Sabouraud Dextrose Agar, although it can be referred to as Sabouraud Glucose Agar or just Sabouraud Agar.

Primary Use

Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) is used for the isolation, cultivation, and maintenance of species of fungi and yeasts. Its low pH helps with the growth of dermatophytes and helps inhibit some bacterial growth.

Non irradiated SDA plates can also be supplemented with chloramphenicol to help inhibit growth of bacteria



Technical characteristics

This acidic medium has a simple formulation but with a high content of sugars.

Typical formulation: g/ltr
Mycological Peptone 10.0
Glucose (Dextrose) 40.0
Agar 15.0

Fresh pH 5.6±0.2
Irradiated contact plates pH 5.2
Irradiated 9cm plates ph 5.0


Historically, the main application for SDA was as a non-selective isolation medium for the growth and maintenance of pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi from clinical and nonclinical specimens.

It became increasingly popular for environmental monitoring within the pharmaceutical industry for total counting of yeasts and moulds, and is generally used to supplement the use of TSA.

Related reading:


The prepared media is pale straw to straw in colour with a slightly opaque appearance.

Related reading:

Organisms & morphology

Sabouraud Dextrose Agar is primarily used to cultivate and or isolate dermatophytes and other types of fungi. A typical set of control organisms and the phenotypic identification associated with these are listed in the table below.







Candida albicans




Aspergillus brasiliensis



White to black

Typical incubation parameters

As SDA is a non-selective medium for yeasts and fungi, it requires lower incubation temperatures for a longer period. In environmental monitoring applications it is common for plates to be incubated at 20-25º for 5 days for mould and fungi.

Regulatory references

SDA is a Harmonised Pharmacopoeia medium and as such is mentioned in the BP/EP/JP, as well as the US Pharmacopoeia.

EP Chapter Ref 2.6.12 Microbial examination of non-sterile products: Microbial enumeration tests

Recommended Culture Media



Incubation Time & Temp

Sabouraud Dextrose Agar

Growth promotion

Candida albicans
Aspergillus brasiliensis

20-25ºC for < 5 days

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Does Plate Choice Change Sampling Accuracy?

Comparative Analysis of Petri Dish Variation in Flow Rate for Air Sampling. This extended report aims to further investigate the variations in flow rate observed in petri dishes used for air sampling, focusing on the potential factors contributing to these fluctuations.

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