Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Prokaryotic organisms of the genus Mycoplasma are characterized by their small body and genome size containing a 0.6-1.35 M bp genome. The genome is noted for its low G+C frequency ranging from 8-40 mol%. The Mycoplasma genus stems from the class Mollicutes (for soft skin), which lacks the cell walls and external motility appendages often present in other bacteria. To date, there are more than 100 known species of Mycoplasma. 34 species have been partially or completely sequenced. Widely known pathogenic species of Mycoplasma include: M. pneumoniae, causing pneumonia and other respiratory disorders, and M. genitalium, which are involved in pelvic inflammatory disease. Because of their small genome size, Mycoplasmas provide researchers a unique model of the minimal genomic requirements to maintain life. As the number of complete Mycoplasma genomes increase, these organisms become more established, thus laying the foundation for mapping evolutionary development. This manuscript provides an overview and update on Mycoplasma research, with particular focus on current genomics.