SUMMARY: The chemical composition of whole organisms and cell membranes of eight saprophytic and parasitic strains was studied. Cell membranes of and were prepared by osmotic shock. The membranes comprised about 35 % of the dry weight of the organisms. Generally the solid residue of the mycoplasmas contained 54–62 % protein, 12–20 % lipid, 3–8 % carbohydrate, 8–17 % RNA and 4–7 % DNA. Cell membranes contained 47–60 % protein, 35–37 % lipid, 4–7 % carbohydrate, and small amounts of RNA and DNA which could not be washed away with de-ionized water. The saprophytic contained only one-fourth to one-third of the total cholesterol found in the lipid of the parasitic strains. No cholesterol was detected in grown in cholesterol-free media. Acetone-insoluble lipids formed the major part of the lipid in the saprophytic strains, and the minor part in the lipid of the parasitic strains. The carotenoid pigments of were retained in the cell membrane preparations.


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