In five strains of , a protein with a molecular mass of about 40 kDa was detected by immunoblotting with anti-pig brain tubulin polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. In eight other mycoplasma species similarly tested no reaction was observed. Thin serial sections of and cells examined by transmission electron microscopy revealed a submembrane system of tubules in but not in The intracellular spatial distribution of the tubular structures was reconstructed. Thin sections of treated with anti-tubulin antibodies and colloidal gold particles (immunogold labelling) revealed distinct labelling of the tubular system. Analysis of the tubular structures by high resolution electron microscopy and optical diffraction showed their helical organization to be: diameter 40 nm, helix pitch approximately 20 nm and electron-transparent core 10 nm in diameter. A possible involvement of the tubular system in mycoplasma motility is suggested.


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