Advances in Microbial Physiology, Vol. 10 by A.H. Rose (ed.), D.W. Tempest (ed.)

By A.H. Rose (ed.), D.W. Tempest (ed.)

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The Cell Membrane A. ISOLATION OF MEMBRANES Devoid of a cell wall and intracytoplasmic membranes, the mycoplasmas have only one type of membrane, namely the plasma membrane. This is what makes them particularly suitable as models for membrane study; once isolated, it is certain that the plasma membrane is uncontaminated with other membranes. Osmotic lysis, the gentlest method so far devised for the isolation of mycoplasma membranes, does not always work because the organisms’ sensitivity t o osmotic shock varies with the age of the culture (Razin, 1964) and the species (Razin, 1963).

Their ribosomal RNAs have sedimentation coefficients of 22 S and 16 S, the bigger component sedimenting slightly slower than the 23 S rRNA of E . coli. The GC content of the ribosomal-RNA is lower than of the corresponding E. coli RNA, but significantly higher than of the DNA of M . gallisepticum and M . hominis (Reich, 1967; Kirk and Morowitz, 1969; Johnson and Horowitz, 1971). PHYSIOLOGY O F MYCOPLASMAS 23 B. RIBOSOMAL HELICES Under certain conditions, especially when the cells are harvested by centrifugation without prior fixation, the ribosomes of M .

As the unattached end was always rounded, degradation would seem to occur a t the end which is normally involved in attachment. Adsorption is rapid and, as well over 300 MV-L1 viruses can adsorb to one cell, there probably are no specific adsorption sites but as in animal viruses each cell can “take up” viruses a t many sites on its membrane surface (Liss and Maniloff, 1 9 7 1 ) . It is still not clear how the MV-L1 DNA penetrates the host membrane. , 1971). On the mode of infection with MV-L2 as yet practically nothing is known.

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