Help an undergraduate student

Larry Farrell farrlarr at isu.edu
Thu Mar 3 18:22:59 EST 2005

The_Warrior wrote:
> Hello every one, I'm a biology student in a University, and I truelly need
> your assistance in choosing a good topic for an undergraduate microbiology
> project. 
Try isolating a bacterial virus (bacteriophage = phage) for your 
favorite bacterium.  Simply identify the bacterium to use and identify 
where it can be found in nature (E. coli and sewage samples work very 
well, if you make sure you get settled sewage that has not been 
chlorinated).  Collect a sample of that environmental material, suspend 
it is sterile water or use directly if it is an aqueous sample, mix with 
an appropriate volume of 10X broth (of a medium that supports good 
growth of the bacterium to be used)and add a sample of a culture of your 
bacterium.  Incubate overnight, centrifuge to remove bacteria, filter 
through a 0.45 micron filter and use the supernate as your phage stock. 
  Plate serial dilutions of the stock on your bacterium by the soft agar 
overlay method.  Pick isolated plaques and make new stocks of each and 
then compare plaque morphology, replication time for the phage, etc.

If interested, I can supply additional specifics of the techniques, as 
can many other folks who lurk/post here.
Larry D. Farrell, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology
Idaho State University

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