Last Updated: December 23, 2016

Definition - What does Mycoplasma mean?

A mycoplasma is a microscopic, bacteria-like organism that lacks a cell wall around its cell membrane, and is the smallest species of bacterial cells that have been discovered. Studies suggest that this genus of bacteria most likely developed through degenerative evolution from Gram-positive bacteria.

MaximumYield explains Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma are prokaryotes, however because they lack cell walls, they have been placed in a different class called Mollicutes with over 100 species included in the genus mycoplasma. This type of bacteria can be either parasitic (living off another organism) or saprotrophic (feeding off decomposing organic material).

The size and shape of mycoplasma can be varied and they are small and hard to identify. Although mycoplasma lacks a cell wall, its surface contains antigens such as membrane proteins, glycolipids, lipoproteins, and lipoglycans. Mycoplasma is resilient, survives without oxygen and has the ability to infect both animals and plants with a bare minimum structure.

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