The Genus Mycoplasma and Related Genera (Class Mollicutes)

  • Shmuel Razin


Mycoplasmas are distinguished phenotypically from other bacteria by their minute size and total lack of a cell wall. Taxonomically, the lack of cell walls is used to separate mycoplasmas from other bacteria and to place them in a class named “Mollicutes” (mollis, soft; cutis, skin, in Latin). The classification of Mollicutes and the properties distinguishing the established taxa are presented in Table 1. Though the trivial terms mycoplasmas or mollicutes have been used interchangeably to denote any species included in Mollicutes, the trivial names “ureaplasmas,” “entomoplasmas,” “mesoplasmas,” “spiroplasmas,” “acholeplasmas,” “asteroleplasmas,” and “anaeroplasmas” are routinely used for members of the corresponding genus. Molecular characterization of the uncultured plant and insect mycoplasma-like organisms (MLOs) has provided strong experimental support for their inclusion in the class Mollicutes (see the section Phylogeny and Taxonomy). Consequently, the trivial term...

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© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shmuel Razin

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