Summary: Electrophoresis of constituent proteins in polyacrylamide gels has become a useful aid in the identification of mycoplasmas. Razin & Rottem (1967) showed that mycoplasma proteins dissolved in phenol and acetic acid give reproducible, species-specific electro-phoretic patterns when separated in the presence of acetic acid and urea. We encountered difficulties when using this technique. Mycoplasmas often failed to dissolve completely in the phenol-acetic acid solution and a large fraction of the dissolved protein migrated as a single fast component. Also long periods of electrophoresis (at least 5 h) were necessary to give satisfactory separations. We have therefore investigated an alternative approach, using sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) to dissolve the cells prior to electrophoresis in the presence of SDS.


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