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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Identification of Mollicutes from Insects

Authors
item Whitcomb, Robert
item Hackett, Kevin

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Mollicutes have been proposed as agents for biocontrol of insects, either by direct pathogenicity to the insect, or as vectors of toxin genes. For these agents to be used, procedures must be available for their identification. In this book chapter, technology for mollicute identification is transferred. A key is presented that permits separation of six types of nonhelical, or potentially nonhelical procaryotes that may be found in association with insects. The chapter will be of interest to entomologists, biocontrol workers, and plant pathologists.

Technical Abstract: Identification of mollicutes from insects has become increasingly complex as new genera of organisms have been discovered in arthropods. Principles for distinguishing mollicute genera from insects are given. Key characters are helicity (if any), behavior in ultrafiltration, nature of cytoplasmic membrane, growth in serum-free broth with or without supplements, and temperature requirements for growth. Serological tests are described for identification of mollicutes. The spiroplasma deformation test has been adapted for use in routine identification. Criteria are given for detection of mixed cultures by the deformation test.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014