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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Reduction of Benzyl Viologen Distinguishes Mollicutes Genera

Authors
item Pollack, J - OHIO ST UNIV
item Banjon, Jonathan - OHIO ST UNIV
item Donelson, Kelly - OHIO ST UNIV
item Tully, Joseph - NIH NIAID
item Davis, John - BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE
item Hackett, Kevin
item Agbanyim, C - UNIV LONDON
item Miles, Roger - UNIV LONDON

Submitted to: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: We tested the ability of 62 mollicutes (cell wall-less bacteria related to mycoplasmas) to cause color change in a chromophore (benzyl viologen) that is sensitive to electrons. The reactive site of the viologen was in the membrane of the bacterial cell and was dependent on the presence of growth co-factors. Reduction of viologen was expressible in cultures containing more than one type of mollicute, and such activity may be useful in recognizing the contaminating presence of any mollicute species in animal and insect cell cultures. These results may also be important in developing classification schemes for the mollicutes, and could be used in improved detection and diagnosis of plant, insect, veterinary, and human diseases. The information will be of most use, therefore, to those developing cell culture systems for expressing proteins for industrial use, and for those researchers developing diagnostic procedures for mollicute caused diseases.

Technical Abstract: We tested the ability of 62 growing Mollicutes to reduce the redox indicator and free-radical generator1,1'-dibenzyl-4,4'-bipyridinium dichloride (benzyl viologen, BV) to a blue-violet-purple color. BV was reduced by twelve species of Acholeplasma, but not by A. multiforme PN525. BV was also reduced by five of nine species of Mesoplasma and four of six species of Entomoplasma. BV was not reduced by nineteen species of Mycoplasma, six species of Spiroplasma and five unamed Spiroplasma from different serogroups, three species of Ureaplasma and one unamed Ureaplasma strain. The BV reductive ability was localized in the membrane of A. laidlawii B-PG9 and was dependent on NADH. Reduction of BV was expressible in mixed cultures, and such activity may be useful in recognizing the contaminating presence of any Acholeplasma species. The reductive BV response may have phylogenetic value. We believe the test readily distinguishes all Acholeplasma species, and some Mesoplasma and Entomoplasma species from all Mycoplasma, Spiroplasma, and Ureaplasma species tested.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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