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Scientific classification
Edward and Freundt 1967[3]

The Mollicutes are a class of bacteria with no bacterial cell wall.[4][5] Mycoplasma is the best-known genus.

They are very small, only about 0.2–0.3 μm in size, and have a very small genome. Most move about by gliding across host cells, but Spiroplasma are helical and move by twisting.

Mollicutes are parasites of various animals and plants, living on or in the host's cells. Many cause diseases in humans. Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma stick to cells in the lungs or sex tubes like the urethra. Phytoplasma and Spiroplasma are plant pathogens with insect vectors. Bugs such as leaf-hoppers (Homoptera) are the vectors. They deliver the parasites which they stick their mouth-parts into a plant to suck its sap.

References[change | change source]

  1. Garrity et al 2007. The taxonomic outline of bacteria and archaea (TOBA Release 7.7). [1]
  2. Garrity, Bell & Lilburn (eds) 2004. Taxonomic outline of the prokaryotes. In Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, 2nd ed. pp. 140–204. [2]
  3. Edward, D.G.; F.A. Freundt 1967. Proposal for Mollicutes as name of the class established for the order Mycoplasmatales. Int J Syst Bacteriol 17 (3): 267–268. [3]
  4. The word "Mollicutes" is derived from the Latin mollis (meaning "soft" or "pliable"), and cutis (meaning "skin").
  5. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Mollicutes. [4]