Plaque assay for bacteriophage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The plaque assay, an indispensable tool for the study of bacteriophage, was described in the earliest publications on the discovery of these viruses. Felix d’Hérelle, credited as a codiscoverer of phage (along with Frederick Twort), described, in effect, the first plaque assay in 1917 [1], when he wrote the following: …if one adds to a culture of Shiga as little as a millionfold dilution of a previously lysed culture and if one spreads a droplet of this mixture on an agar slant, then one obtains after incubation a lawn of dysentery bacilli containing a certain number of circular areas of 1 mm diameter where there is no bacterial growth; these points cannot represent but colonies of the antagonistic microbes: a chemical substance cannot concentrate itself over definite points. Translation from Stent [2]: The antagonistic microbes were then named bacteriophage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPractical Handbook of Microbiology, Third Edition
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781466587403
ISBN (Print)9781466587397
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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    Goldman, E. (2015). Plaque assay for bacteriophage. In Practical Handbook of Microbiology, Third Edition (pp. 93-98). CRC Press.