Query: NC_018497:252374 Mycoplasma genitalium M6320 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Mycoplasma genitalium; Mycoplasma; Mycoplasmataceae; Mycoplasmatales; Tenericutes; Bacteria General Information: This genus currently comprizes more than 120 obligate parasitic species found in the wide spectrum of hosts, including humans, animals, insects and plants. The primary habitats of human and animal mycoplasmas are mucouse membranes of the respiratory and urogenital tracts, eyes, mammary glands and the joints. Infection that proceeds through attachment of the bacteria to the host cell via specialized surface proteins, adhesins, and subsequent invation, results in prolonged intracellular persistence that may cause lethality. Once detected in association with their eukaryotic host tissue, most of mycoplasmas can be cultivated in the absence of a host if their extremely fastidious growth requirements are met.
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General Information: They are commonly found in the oral, vaginal, and intestinal regions of many animals. They are important industrial microbes that contribute to the production of cheese, yogurt, and other products such as fermented milks, all stemming from the production of lactic acid, which inhibits the growth of other organisms as well as lowering the pH of the food product. Industrial production requires the use of starter cultures, which are carefully cultivated, created, and maintained, which produce specific end products during fermentation that impart flavor to the final product, as well as contributing important metabolic reactions, such as the breakdown of milk proteins during cheese production. The end product of fermentation, lactic acid, is also being used as a starter molecule for complex organic molecule syntheses. Lactobacillus rhamnosus is used in the manufacture of cheese and other dairy products to aid ripening and enhance flavors. This organism has also been shown to stimulate the immune system and have antibacterial activity against intestinal pathogens, indicating that it may be useful as a probiotic.