Acholeplasma has spherical cells and filamentous cells. The minimum diameter of spherical cells is 125-220 nanometers, and the general length of filamentous cells is about 2-5 microns. There is a three-layered membrane about 7 nanometers thick outside the bacterial cell. The bacteria are immobile and Gram-negative. Colonies on solid media generally have a fried egg-like appearance and are up to 3 mm in diameter. Acholeplasma is a chemoheterotrophic bacterium that produces energy through fermentative metabolism. Among them, carbohydrates are substrates that can be fermented. Growth does not require serum or cholesterol. The bacteria do not hydrolyze arginine and urea. Phosphatase activity is weak or negative. No films or spots were produced on horse serum agar or yolk medium. The incubation temperature range is approximately 20°-40°C. Acholeplasma are apparently free-living saprophytes and parasitic bacteria of mammals and birds, and may be pathogens with a very broad host range.
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Figure 1. A single colony of Acholeplasma laidlawii. (From microbewiki.kenyon.edu)
Although Acholeplasma laidlawii can develop into very long branched mycelia in medium containing an appropriate ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids, the hyphae are generally short, only 2-5 microns. Colonies on solid medium were up to 3 mm in diameter with a well-developed light gray or light brown central area. When grown in liquid medium, considerable turbidity results. The bacteria can use glucose, maltose, hepatose, dextrin, starch, and cellobiose to produce acid, but not mannose, sucrose, mannitol, lactose, viritol, xylose, salicyl alcohol, glycerol, or sorbitol. Most strains hydrolyzed esculin. The reduction of tetrazole under anaerobic conditions is weakened under aerobic conditions. In the hemolysis test using guinea pig or sheep erythrocytes with the overlay technique, agar colonies produce beta-type hemolytic bands. The minimum nutritional requirements are: potassium, magnesium and phosphate ions; glucose; 13 kinds of amino acids; nucleic acid precursors; niacin; riboflavin; folic acid; pyridoxine; pyridoxine and thiamine; long-chain fatty acids. Although the newly isolated strain grows well under aerobic conditions, it is facultatively anaerobic. The growth temperature range is about 20°-40°C; the optimum temperature for bacteria recently isolated from soil and sewage is reported to be about 30°C, while the adapted strains in the laboratory and strains of animal origin appear well at 37°C or better. Furthermore, the bacteria are very sensitive to osmolysis.
Acholeplasma granutaram is a short mycelium. The growth rate is slower than that of Acholeplasma laidlawii. It can synthesize carotenoids with maximum absorption peaks at 414, 418 and 468 nm. The bacteria can produce acid from glucose, but not from mannose. Tetrazole was reduced under anaerobic conditions and weakly reduced under aerobic conditions. Acholeplasma granutaram does not hydrolyze esculin and is phosphatase negative. Does not adsorb guinea pig erythrocytes. The bacterium does not have strict growth temperature range and optimum temperature, but grows at 30°-37C. The bacterium is a common inhabitant of the nasal cavity of pigs.
In the cells of Acholeplasma axanthum, club shape and spherical shape were predominant, and a few had short hyphal-like cells with a length of 2-5 μm. Large colonies on horse serum agar had a prominent clear center. Colonies on serum-free medium were smaller and grew poorly around the outer edge of the center. Growth in serum-free or partially serum-free medium was much worse than that of Acholeplasma laidlawii or Acholeplasma granutaram. The bacteria do not synthesize carotenoid pigments. It also differs from Acholeplasma laidlawii in its ability to synthesize sphingolipids. The bacteria can produce acid from glucose, maltose, galactose, hepatose, starch, dextrin, salicylic alcohol, glycerol, and cellobiose, but not from mannose, sucrose, mannitol, lactose, vertigo, fructose, xylose Or sorbitol to produce acid. choleplasma axanthum can hydrolyze esculin, and without phosphatase activity. Although this species is independent of cholesterol for growth, it binds more cholesterol from the medium than Acholeplasma laidlawii. It can grow at 30°C and 37°C.
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