Because Mycoplasma bovis and its relatives are classified as the smallest organisms that can self replicate on Earth, reproduction is a vital part of how Mycoplasma bovis is such an effective pathogen.

Binary Fission vs. Mitosis & Meiosis (complements of wikipedia commons) 

Binary Fission

Mycoplasma bovis undergoes binary fission, a form of replication that is common in many bacteria, to create new offspring. This process is slow in Mycoplasmas and it is not uncommon for the cell to have more than one set of genetic information (Mayer, 2007).


The genome size of Mycoplasma bovis is inherently small and because of this, the organism lacks the ability to metabolize nutrients and relies on host cells to provide vital compounds the organism needs (Mayer, 2007). Also because of its genome size, Mycoplasma bovis lacks the genetic information for a cell wall (Cree 2002). (For more info go to Nutrition)


Cow- Microsoft Clip Art
Created By: Garrett Blumer
University of Wisconsin- La Crosse

Page Last Updated: April 25, 2008