Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biological Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 55 pages) : illustrations (chiefly color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Alex Valm

Committee Members

Prashanth Rangan, Cheryl Andam


Mouth, Bacteria, Biofilms, Dental plaque

Subject Categories

Biology | Microbiology


The human oral microbiome is one of the most complex microbiome communities in the human body and its role in maintaining health is not fully understood. Previous research shows that the transition from health to disease is accompanied by changes in community abundance and structure. To fully understand the symbiotic relationship formed between bacterial species that leads to the formation of a functional healthy biofilm structure, we must study the various structural relationships and subsequent molecular interactions among individual species within the biofilm. In this thesis, I have isolated a pure bacteria species from a single donor's dental plaque and identified it as Fusobacterium nucleatum subsp. animalis. This was done by optimizing media (Valm media), culturing, utilizing several microscopic techniques including FISH, performing PCR, and sequencing the 16S rRNA gene to finally identify the species.