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 low GC content of the mycoplasma DNA accordingly seems to be reflected in the tRNA, but not to the same extent in all species. Perhaps the most intriguing issue is the presence or absence of modified or minor nucleosides. Among cellular RNA species, tRNA is unique in containing numerous modified nucleosides. On the whole one might expect that the less genetic information an organism has the lower the variety and amount of its modified nucleosides, since the enzymes required for this synthesis might be missing.

Laidlawii, as a function of temperature. The fatty-acid combinations are indicated on the graphs. Taken from McElhaney et al. (1970). , 1966a). Similarly, the fatty-acid pairs required for growth of the goat mycoplasma strain Y (p. 44) may be needed to regulate the cohesion forces between the lipid molecules in the membrane, so that it should not become either too fluid or too condensed. Elaidic acid, being a trans fatty acid, may physically simulate a mixture of saturated and unsaturated acids and provide the right fluidity for the lipid region (Rodwell, 1968).

This study is an excellent example of the way in which the special properties of mycoplasmas can be utilized to tackle basic biological problems. 26 SHMUEL RAZIN D. PROTEIN SYNTHESIS The biophysical similarity of mycoplasma and prokaryotic cell ribosomes is also evidenced by the sensitivity of the protein-synthesizing system of the mycoplasmas to specific inhibitors. Chloramphenicol and erythromycin, which specifically inhibit protein synthesis on the 70 S microbial ribosomes, inhibited protein synthesis in seven mycoplasma strains, while cycloheximide, which inhibits protein synthesis on the 80 S eukaryotic cell ribosomes, had no effect (Tourtellotte, 1969).

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