SUMMARY: strain 163K tends to move in multicellular configurations, either as pairs or small groups of three or more cells, or as chain-like aggregations or microcolonies. Such wandering groups arise by transient association of independently moving cells. This behaviour of was microscopically investigated and documented by sequences of microcinematographic pictures, as well as by photomicrographically recorded motility tracks. The presence of an extracellular slime layer was demonstrated in thin sections, by negative staining and by scanning electron microscopy. The possible association of this layer with the cohesive properties of the mycoplasma cells, enabling the formation of wandering groups, is discussed and a calculation of the magnitude of the cohesive force is provided.


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