, the type species of the genus (Spiroplasmataceae, Mollicutes), is restricted to the phloem sieve tubes and transmitted by phloem sap-feeding insects, as is characteristic of the phytopathogenic mollicutes. The spiroplasmas are the only mollicutes showing motility and helical morphology, apparently mediated by a contractile fibrillar cytoskeleton bound to the inner surface of the spiroplasmal membrane. genes, which are involved in cell-shape determination, have been identified in . Identified genes of other functional groups are those involved in the transmission of by the leafhoppers and genes coding for lipoproteins, including spiralin, bound to the outer surface of the spiroplasma membrane. mutants that are unable to use fructose induce only mild and delayed symptoms. Fructose utilization by the sieve tube-restricted wild-type spiroplasmas is postulated to deprive the companion cells of fructose, thereby impairing sucrose loading into the sieve tubes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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