Bacteriophage in host associated microbial communities examined with continuous culture systems
Dills, Michael Stefan
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Mechanistic understanding of the role of extracellular and parasitic elements in host ecosystems is currently lacking. Extensive surveys have catalogued a large diversity of bacteriophage which associate differentially with definable host states. This work is an attempt to aid in the development of a coherent model for complex symbiosis within mammalian host ecosystems by investigating the role of bacteriophage in microbial community structure. It details an investigation of continuous culture systems as a platform to study bacteriophage within polymicrobial communities of the human GI tract. It then describes an experiment testing an extracellular community's ability to modulate bacterial community structure.