Mycoplasma mobile

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Mycoplasma mobile


Higher order taxa

Cellular organisms; Bacteria; Firmicutes; Mollicutes; Mycoplasmatales; Mycoplasmataceae; Mycoplasma


Mycoplasma Mobile;

NCBI: Taxonomy

Description and significance

Mycoplasma mobile, a flask-shaped piscine mycoplasma (approximately 1.0 x 0.3 µm), is thought to be pathogenic and was first isolated from a tench fish host. Mycoplasma mobile is known for its gliding motility at speeds as fast as 7 µm/second. Many of the mycoplasma organisms have this gliding motility, defined as “a smooth translocation over a solid surface,” but none as extreme as the ability of Mycoplasma mobile. M. mobile has been observed to move in the direction of the tapered end of the cell, known as the “head,” and glides at high speeds without reversing directions or stopping. M. mobile has also been found to be very strong, able to “tow an erythrocyte roughly 10 times its size, without significant loss in speed and has been measured to exert up to 27 pN of force ability.” Because little has been discovered about the genes responsible for gliding motility, scientists thought it would be useful to sequence the complete genome and proteome of Mycoplasma mobile. They felt that comparing the genomic sequence of M. mobile to those of other immotile or slower-gliding mycoplasmas could help paint a clearer picture of the gliding mechanism. The results of these analyses leave open the possibility that gliding motility might have arisen independently more than once in the mycoplasma lineage.

Genome structure

Describe the size and content of the genome. How many chromosomes? Circular or linear? Other interesting features? What is known about its sequence? Does it have any plasmids? Are they important to the organism's lifestyle?

Cell structure and metabolism

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Application to Biotechnology

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


Jaffe, J. D., Miyata, M. & Berg, H. C. (2004a). "Energetics of gliding motility in Mycoplasma mobile." J Bacteriol 186, 4254–4261.

Jaffe, J. D., Stange-Thomann, N., Smith, C., DeCaprio, D., Fisher, S., Butler, J., Calvo, S., Elkins, T., FitzGerald, M. G., Hafez, N., Kodira, C. D., Major, J., Wang, S., Wilkinson, J., Nicol, R., Nusbaum, C., Birren, B., Berg, H. C., and Church, G. M., (2004b). "The complete genome and proteome of Mycoplasma mobile." Genome Res 14, 1447–1461

Ohtani N., Miyata M. (2007)"Identification of a novel nucleoside triphosphatase from Mycoplasma mobile: a prime candidate motor for gliding motility." Biochem J. 2007 Apr 1; 403(1):71-7.

Hiratsuka Y., Miyata M., Uyeda T.Q.(2005)"Living microtransporter by uni-directional gliding of Mycoplasma along microtracks." Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 May 27;331(1):318-24.

Kusumoto A., Seto S., Jaffe J.D., and Miyata M., 2004. "Cell surface differentiation of Mycoplasma mobile visualized by surface protein localization." Microbiology 150 (2004), 4001-4008; DOI 10.1099/mic.0.27436-0

Hiratsuka Y., Miyata M., Tada T., and Uyeda T.Q.P., 2006. "A microrotary motor powered by bacteria" PNAS. 2006 September 12; 103(37): 13618-13623.

Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano