In contrast to other mycoplasma species the 16S/23S rRNA and 5S rRNA operons of and map at least 150 kb apart (20% of the genome). Both operons from have been cloned and sequenced. The 23S rRNA gene sequence showed 96·7% homology with the corresponding gene of , equalling that found earlier for 16S rRNA and confirming the close phylogenetic relationships of these organisms. A possible upstream promoter was identified. Sequence elements upstream and downstream from each structural gene could form a stem needed for maturation of the immature rRNA transcript to mature 16S and 23S rRNA. We also identified two possible stem-and-loop sequences 3′ to the 23S rRNA gene. The 5S rRNA gene itself also showed high homology with the corresponding structural gene of , although the upstream and downstream sequences were highly heterologous.


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