DNA cleavage patterns as indicators of genotypic heterogeneity among strains of Acholeplasma and Mycoplasma species

Journal of General Microbiology
S RazinM F Barile


Electrophoretic patterns of digestion products of Acholeplasma and Mycoplasma DNA by restriction endonucleases were compared. The patterns of Acholeplasma axanthum strains isolated from a variety of hosts and habitats differed markedly from each other, indicating considerable genotypic heterogeneity among strains included in this species. Heterogeneity was less marked among the Acholeplasma oculi strains tested, and was minimal among strains of the avian pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Strains of Mycoplasma genitalium isolated from the urethra of patients with non-gonococcal urethritis and from the urethra of an experimentally infected chimpanzee yielded identical cleavage patterns, indicating a high degree of genetic homogeneity of these strains. The data support the notion that mycoplasma species of strict host and tissue specificity exhibit marked genetic homogeneity. The advantages and deficiencies of the use of DNA cleavage patterns for classification purposes are discussed.


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