Review Of Magnetotactic Bacteria And Magnetosomes

3635 Words Dec 19th, 2014 15 Pages
Christian Ramirez

Review of Magnetotactic Bacteria and Magnetosomes

Magnetotactic bacteria are a group of prokaryotes of varying morphologies. The morphologies include coccoid, helical, multicellular, rod-shaped, and vibriod1. Magnetotactic bacteria were first discovered by Salvatore Bellini in 1963 2. The commonality of all members of magnetotactic bacteria is that they passively orient and swim along the geomagnetic field by means of a method called magnetotaxis. The ability to swim along the geomagnetic field is made possible by an organelle that all magnetotactic bacteria have, called the magnetosome 3. Other commonalities that magnetotactic bacteria share is that they are all gram-negative bacteria, are motile by means of flagella, exhibit negative growth responses to atmospheric oxygen, and metabolize substrates via respiration 4. All magnetotactic bacteria are either microaerophiles anaerobes, or facultatively anaerobic aerophiles 3. This paper is designed to provide a summary of the structure, synthesis, function, distribution, and potential uses of magnetosomes, as well as discuss current issues facing magnetosome research and application.

Magnetotactic bacteria typically mineralize iron oxide or iron sulphide magnetosomes. The iron oxide magnetosomes contain crystals of magnetite (Fe3O4) 5 and the iron sulphide magnetosomes are composed of crystals of greigite (Fe3S4) 6. Of note, magnetite is the more studied form of…

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