Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Paul W. Allen


There is an analogy between some of the possible theories of the nature of bacteriophage, and those which were held concerning the cause of fermentation, when Pasteur proved by unique experiments that fermentation of grain and fruit was brought about through the growth and development of microorganisms. Scientists recognized ferments as organized (living), and unorganized (chemical). Today, we have d’Herelle’s corpuscular parasitic theory(24) concerning the bacteriophage as opposed to the possibility of its being a chemical substance foreign to the bacterium, or a principle derived from the bacterium. Concerning the last theory d’Herelle allows four possible solutions:

A. "It is an abnormal inert principle derived from the bacterium."

B. "It is an abnormal living principle derived from the bacterium."

C. "It is an enzyme, normally elaborated by the bacterium."

D. "It is a living principle, existing normally in the bacterium." The presentation of such divergent theories of bacteriophagy makes evident the great necessity for the further development and compilation of data bearing upon the nature of this phenomenon.

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