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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2002 Oct;25(3):396-402.

Close genetic and phenotypic relatedness between mycoplasma ovine/caprine serogroup 11 and Mycoplasma bovigenitalium.

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Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Addlestone, Surrey, UK.


Strains of Mycoplasma ovine/caprine serogroup 11, isolated from infertile sheep, were compared to the type strain, 2D, and to strains of the cattle pathogen M. bovigenitalium, including the type strain, PG11. Examination of these strains by growth inhibition and immune fluorescence tests showed strong serological cross reactivity between M. serogroup 11 and M. bovigenitalium but not with other ruminant mycoplasmas. Substrate oxidation and growth studies did not show any consistent differences between M. serogroup 11 and M. bovigenitalium strains; all strains assigned to both groups were adapted to the utilisation of a small range of organic acids as energy sources. DNA:DNA hybridisation, carried out between DIG labelled reference strains of M. serogroup 11 and M. bovigenitalium and field isolates of these two mycoplasmas showed a particularly close relationship with hybridisation rates all greater than 70% and, mostly, closer to 90%. Sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene region of the M. serogroup 11 and M. bovigenitalium strains as well as the respective type strains revealed very high overall homologies of 99.5%. In summary, the results showed a very close phenotypic and genotypic relatedness between these two ruminant mycoplasmas which justifies their classification into a single species.

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