Mycoplasmology: Always Ahead of the Curve

July 28, 2015

 

The United States Organization for Mycoplasmology is a newly founded organization based on a long-standing discipline. Founding members have been working in this field for decades, and noticed an undeniable trend:  mycoplasmas are often at the center of studies producing fundamental findings in biological sciences.  Because of their minimalist lifestyle, mycoplasmas make outstanding conceptual models, and have been featured in some truly groundbreaking moments in biological research. From one of the earliest complete genome sequences, to the minimal genome concept, to mechanistic understanding of antigenic variation, to infectious causes of asthma, to modeling emerging infectious diseases, to the first synthetic cell, mycoplasmas are often at the forefront of advances in biological science. That is the basis of our logo: we are always ahead of the curve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Schematic representation of Mycoplasma pneumoniae based on simultaneous  transcriptomic, proteomic, and tomography studies in one of the first complete "systems biology" reports [Image: Kuhner et al., 2009]

Septic joint in a chicken with avian mycoplasmosis due to Mycoplasma synoviae  [Image: Ferguson-Noel 2010]

Chest X-ray indicating "walking pneumonia" caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, in a human [Image: Lukesh Guglani]

House finch conjunctivitis caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum following a host jump from poultry serves as an excellent model for studying emerging infectious diseases [Image:Ley et al., 1997]

A colony of  Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri  JCVIsyn1.0, the world's first synthetically  created organism [Image: Gibson et al., 2010]

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, a feature of porcine respiratory disease complex, attaching to swine cilia to establish infection 

[Image: F. C. Minion]

Ribosomal phylogram  representing all 3 domains of life.  The class Mollicutes (indicated) show the deepest branches, and appear to be among the most rapidly evolving living things [Image: M. May, via iTOL]

Scanning electron microscopy images of  Mycoplasma amphoriforme in process of dividing, as indicated by multiple attachment organelles 

 [Image: Hatchel et al., 2006]