A gene probe, CAP-21, which demonstrated interrelationships between the members of the cluster was developed. The probe easily differentiated mycoplasmas in this cluster by clear and predictable hybridization patterns in Southern blots and separated the cluster into four groups. Strains of subsp. which were capable of causing contagious bovine pleuropneumonia composed one group. Strains of subsp. which did not cause contagious bovine pleuropneumonia together with strains of subsp. composed the second group. and the F38 mycoplasmas formed a third group, while the bovine group 7 mycoplasmas composed a separate, fourth group. Further support for the above grouping of the cluster was obtained when amplified DNA analogous to the probe from one representative strain of each of the cluster members was sequenced and these data were used to construct a phylogenic tree. Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia is recognized as an important disease, and the etiological agent of this disease is now known to be the F38 mycoplasma. The CAP-21 probe did not differentiate between and the closely related F38 mycoplasma. A second probe, F38-12, which was capable of distinguishing these two mycoplasmas was made.


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