Mycoplasmas of Plants and Insects

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Plants and insects are habitats of several mollicute genera including Acholeplasma, Entomoplasma, Mesoplasma, Spiroplasma, and the provisionally classified phytoplasmas. Plant- and insect-associated acholeplasmas, entomoplasmas and mesoplasmas occur as saprophytes on plant surfaces including flowers, and in insects probably as commensals or symbionts (90, 106). They are pleomorphic, nonhelical in shape and culturable in vitro and consist of relatively few species. There is no indication that they are of economic importance, and only their phylogenetic positions will be discussed in this chapter. For more information, the reader is referred to references 89, 107, 109.