Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Biology



First Advisor

Dr. Dan Bennett

Second Advisor

Dr. Zeljko Radulovic

Third Advisor

Dr. Josephine Taylor

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Li Ma


Bacteriophages (phages) are viral obligate intracellular parasites that infect bacteria. Research has been carried out on alternative treatment plans for bacterial infections due to the increase in antibiotic resistance. Phages have been proposed as an alternative to antibiotics. This research focused on the isolation and characterization of bacteria from small aquariums. A total of 42 bacterial isolates were isolated from seven different fish tank water samples and were tested to determine if they possessed phages. Spot plaque assay revealed presence of lytic phage for only one of the isolated bacterial strains, which was determined to belong to Enterobacteriaceae family based on the 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. The phage isolated in spot plaque assay was successfully propagated in liquid bacterial culture. TEM showed that the isolated phage had a complex capsid and according to its morphology probably belongs to the family Myoviridae. Analysis of phage’s genetic material indicated that it is a DNA phage with its highest DNA sequence similarity with previously described phages of bacteria from Enterobacteriaceae. Further analysis is required to determine if this phage belongs to a previously described phage species or not and if it has potential in the treatment of enterobacterial infections.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Included in

Biology Commons



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