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Controlled biomineralization of magnetite (Fe3O4) and greigite (Fe3S4) in a magnetotactic bacterium


Bazylinski, DA and Frankel, RB and Heywood, BR and Mann, S and King, JW and Donaghay, PL and Hanson, AK, Controlled biomineralization of magnetite (Fe3O4) and greigite (Fe3S4) in a magnetotactic bacterium, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 61, (9) pp. 3232-3239. ISSN 0099-2240 (1995) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 1995 American Society for Microbiology

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DOI: doi:10.1128/AEM.61.9.3232-3239.1995


A slowly moving, rod-shaped magnetotactic bacterium was found in relatively large numbers at and below the oxic-anoxic transition zone of a semianaerobic estuarine basin. Unlike all magnetotactic bacteria described to date, cells of this organism produce single-magnetic-domain particles of an iron oxide, magnetite (Fe3O4), and an iron sulfide, greigite (Fe3S4), within their magnetosomes. The crystals had different morphologies, being arrowhead or tooth shaped for the magnetite particles and roughly rectangular for the greigite particles, and were coorganized within the same chain(s) in the same cell with their long axes along the chain direction. Because the two crystal types have different crystallochemical characteristics, the findings presented here suggest that the formation of the crystal types is controlled by separate biomineralization processes and that the assembly of the magnetosome chain is controlled by a third ultrastructural process. In addition, our results show that in some magnetotactic bacteria, external environmental conditions such as redox and/or oxygen or hydrogen sulfide concentrations may affect the composition of the nonmetal part of the magnetosome mineral phase.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:iron derivative, magnetite, bacterium isolation, crystal structure, magnetic field, mineralization, nonhuman, prokaryote
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Biochemistry and cell biology
Research Field:Structural biology (incl. macromolecular modelling)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Heywood, BR (Professor Brigid Heywood)
ID Code:104439
Year Published:1995
Web of Science® Times Cited:213
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2015-11-11
Last Modified:2015-12-22

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