Your Home Bacteriophage Lab

You must grow your bacteriophages on growing bacteria. Therefore you need to know something about bacteria for easier study of phages. Since you will be using many ordinary microbiology tools (petri plates, culture tubes, loops) and methods (streaking, isolation, media preparation), you should look over the bacteria site. Better yet you should isolate some bacteria and culture them. You can then use the bacteria you isolate as hosts for your bacteriophage projects.

While you can grow bacteria potato slices and other kitchen foods without buying anything, the extra speed from using agar and tryptone for phage projects means you might want to consider buying soe basic items.

Basic Items you may Want to Purchase or Beg

Tryptone- trypic digest of milk
Agar - plain agar use 10 grams per liter to get your plates to gel.
Table salt - pure salt from grocery; if solution is cloudy get pure salt.
Aquarium pump to aerate cultures; use screw to regulate air flow

his website will provide a better understanding by giving more details and experiments which teach the details of bacteriophage life cycles, structure, genetics, and other fascinating aspects of phage biology.

There are many routine bacteriological methods which you will use in your study of phages. Please refer to my bacteria website for methods for isolating bacteria, preparing media, and other details. To work with phages it is a great help to have agar, tryptone, a few mL of chloroform, culture tubes, and petri plates. I will try to help you find substitutes, but it may be better to spent $10 on basic supplies. You may also find it worthwhile to buy a few standard bacterial hosts and a few standard phages and famous mutants if you can't find them free. It is possible to repeat some famous experiments without buying anything. If there is enough interest, I will try to make available some cheap phage kits for beginners for $10 to $25.

You may send private e-messages to Dr. Eddleman and he will reply, usually within 24 hours.

First installed January 1999      Revision #1 1999 Jan 4
Written by Harold Eddleman, Ph. D., President, Indiana Biolab, 14045 Huff St., Palmyra IN 47164
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