I have a freeze dried culture of staphylococcus aureus; how do I incubate it?
Can I just mix it into Luria broth and just keep it in the incubator?
Many micro-organisms do not tolerate freeze drying (you should freeze them using cryo-protectants). Apparently Staphylococcus can tolerate it. You don't directly put the dried cells in the medium. First you have to rehydrate the cells using the medium and then transfer them to the culture vessel. See the following instructions from ATCC:
The preferred method for long-term preservation of bacteria and algae is freeze-drying; however, some bacteria do not survive freeze-drying well and are frozen instead. For freeze dried cultures, using a single tube of the recommended media (5 to 6 mL), withdraw approximately 0.5 to 1.0 mL with a Pasteur or 1.0 mL pipette. Use this to rehydrate the entire pellet, and transfer the entire suspension back into the broth tube and mix well. The last few drops of this suspension may also be transferred to an agar slant. Alternatively, algal cultures must be initiated on agar plates. Please note that anaerobic bacterial cultures must be rehydrated in an anaerobic environment; the viability of the cells decrease rapidly if the vial is rehydrated in an oxygenic environment.
Incubate cultures under the appropriate conditions. Given proper treatment and conditions, most freeze-dried cultures will grow out in a few days. However, some may exhibit a prolonged lag period and should be given twice the normal incubation time before discarding as nonviable.
If you had received the cells from some repository or a vendor, you would have also got an instruction manual on how to revive the cells and what media to use. It is best to follow the specific instructions given in the manual.