Three strains of nonhelical mollicutes previously isolated in France from two different mosquitoes and one tabanid fly were designated strains Ar 2328 (isolated from ), Ar 2392 (isolated from ), and CP 13 (isolated from ). All of these strains exhibited properties of the genus , a recently described genus of non-sterol-requiring mollicutes isolated from plants and insects. The results of metabolism inhibition and growth inhibition tests revealed that these strains and TAC or L1 were not serologically related, but all three dipteran strains reacted strongly with F7 (T = type strain) antibodies. Using metabolism inhibition and growth inhibition tests, we found that the dipteran strains were related to each other and to strain F7 but were not identical. We also found that they were able to multiply and persist in the central nervous systems of suckling mice inoculated intracerebrally, a property that makes their use as biological control agents for pest dipterans inadvisable. Scanning electron microscopy revealed marked differences in the morphologies of the colonies of the different strains on SP4 solid medium. The levels of DNA-DNA homology for strains Ar 2328, Ar 2392, CP 13, and F7 were more than 70%, indicating that these strains are closely related members of the same species, . In addition, one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that each strain produced about 40 protein bands. This technique also revealed differences between strains. Using the coefficient of Smeath-Jacquart, we constructed a dendrogram that allowed us to estimate of the levels of relatedness of these four strains. The results which we obtained were confirmed by two-dimensional protein electrophoresis results.


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