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Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma salivarium: Electron Microscopy of Colony Growth in Agar

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  • Morphology And Ultrastructure


Colonies of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma salivarium grown in PPLO agar were examined by light and electron microscopy. The main objective of the investigation was to attempt in situ fixation and minimize tonic changes in the organisms. Microscopy revealed that both organisms grew both in and upon the agar. The agar and surface growths of M. pneumoniae exhibited similar profiles, whereas those of M. salivarium differed strikingly. Both organisms are highly pleomorphic, but their matrix was denser and appeared more intact than in previously reported profiles. Cells which resemble the commonly reported mycoplasma were occasionally observed. The significance of these discrepant profiles remains unanswered. It is suggested that they may represent aged or osmotically damaged cells.

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