Methods in Molecular Biology™ Volume 501, 2009, pp 97-111

Enumeration of Bacteriophages Using Flow Cytometry

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Rapid identification and enumeration of the numerically important bacteriophages has been till recently a major limitation for studies of virus ecology. The development of sensitive nucleic acid stains, in combination with flow cytometric techniques, has changed this. The flow cytometric method allows the detection and discrimination of a wide variety of viruses of different morphology, genome type, and size. The present paper describes an optimized protocol for the enumeration of bacteriophages using a standard benchtop flow cytometer.