Culture Collections

The Mollicute repository


 Myco 3 Edited

NCTC 10116 Acholeplasma laidlawii


Mollicutes are a class of bacteria that are characterised by their absence of a cell wall and the appearance of fried-egg shaped colonies when grown on agar. They have evolved by a process of selective reduction from gram positive bacteria and they are they are the smallest free-living prokaryotes. Mollicutes are ubiquitous in nature and many species within this bacterial class are of economical, clinical and veterinary relevance.

NCTC has a fully curated Mollicute collection which consists of over 126 strains of medical and veterinary importance from the following genus: Acholeplasma (9 strains); Entomoplasma (5 Strains); Mesoplasma (3 strains); Mycoplasma (97 strains) and Ureaplasma (10 strains). The NCTC mollicute collection is a fundamental part of the NCTC catalogue with the first strains having been provided to NCTC by Professor Eyvind Antonius Freundt who was a pioneer of Mycoplasma science. The current NCTC mollicute collection is made up of 121 different species of which 107 are type strains. All strains are preserved lyophilised within glass ampoules and are shipped globally. The mollicute collection have traditionally been quality controlled using immunological methods but recently both next generation sequencing technologies and in some cases MALDI-TOF MS analysis have been introduced, to authenticate strain banks.

It is recognised that existence of the NCTC mollicute collection has contributed significantly to Mycoplasma research. The provision of well catalogued stocks to define the taxonomy, phylogeny and identification of human and animal mollicutes has been crucial for diagnostic and vaccine development, detection of pharmaceutical product contamination and studies on antibiotic resistance. NCTC is also an internationally recognised repository for bacterial type strains deposits has also played a supportive role in the the description of new mycoplasma species such as Mycoplasma amphoriforme (NCTC 11740T) and Mycoplasma iguanae (NCTC 11745).

NCTC is a dynamic bacterial collection and an active repository for newly described and clinically relevant bacterial strains. Scientists working on Mollicutes which are of either medical or veterinary significance are encouraged to deposit strains into the collection to promote both scientific accessibility and reproducibility.


Written by Dr Sarah Alexander and Dr Vicki Chalker

April 2020 



Pitcher DG, Windsor D, Windsor H, Bradbury JM, Yavari C, Jensen JS, Ling C, Webster D. Mycoplasma amphoriforme sp. nov., isolated from a patient with chronic bronchopneumonia. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2005 Nov;55(Pt 6):2589-2594. 

Brown DR1, Demcovitz DL, Plourdé DR, Potter SM, Hunt ME, Jones RD, Rotstein DS. Mycoplasma iguanae sp. nov., from a green iguana (Iguana iguana) with vertebral disease.





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