Main characteristic features of Mycoplasma.
1. Mycoplasma is an extremely minute organism known to have the power of growth and reproduction.
2. They are polymorphic.
3. They have no definite shape due to lack of cell wall.
4. Plasma membrane is present which is triple layered.
5. They need sterol for their growth.
6. There is no effect of antibiotics, which act on cell walls, e.g., Penicillin, Vancomycin, but antibiotics which have got effect on biochemical reactions may prevent the effect of Mycoplasma by preventing their growth, e.g., Tetracycline.
7. Their size ranges between 100 to 500 nm; therefore, they cannot be filtered through bacterial filter.
8. They contain both RNA and DNA.
9. Ribosomes are also found in their cytoplasm.
10. They remain dependent on animals and plants and cause diseases in them. And sometimes such organisms develop on dead organic matter in the saprophytic form. Thus, they may grow as parasite or saprophyte. Classification of Mycoplasma
In 1966, International Society of Nomenclature of Bacteria has separated Mycoplasma from bacteria and placed it in class Molicutes.
Class — Molicutes
Order — Mycoplasmatales
Genus — Mycoplasma