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Microbiol Res. 2012 Oct 12;167(9):507-19. doi: 10.1016/j.micres.2012.04.002. Epub 2012 May 10.

Magnetotactic bacteria, magnetosomes and their application.

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College of Life Science and Technology, Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University-HLBU, Daqing 163319, PR China.


Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are a diverse group of microorganisms with the ability to orient and migrate along geomagnetic field lines. This unique feat is based on specific intracellular organelles, the magnetosomes, which, in most MTB, comprise nanometer-sized, membrane bound crystals of magnetic iron minerals and organized into chains via a dedicated cytoskeleton. Because of the special properties of the magnetosomes, MTB are of great interest for paleomagnetism, environmental magnetism, biomarkers in rocks, magnetic materials and biomineralization in organisms, and bacterial magnetites have been exploited for a variety of applications in modern biological and medical sciences. In this paper, we describe general characteristics of MTB and their magnetic mineral inclusions, but focus mainly on the magnetosome formation and the magnetisms of MTB and bacterial magnetosomes, as well as on the significances and applications of MTB and their intracellular magnetic mineral crystals.

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