Advertisement

Magnetite and Magnetotaxis in Microorganisms

  • R. B. Frankel
  • R. P. Blakemore
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB)

Abstract

Magnetotactic bacteria include various species of aquatic microorganisms that orient and swim along magnetic field lines (Blakemore, 1975; 1982; Blakemore & Frankel, 1981; Moench & Konetzka, 1978). All magnetotactic cells examined to date by electron microscopy contain iron-rich, electron opaque particles (Balkwill et al. 1980; Towe & Moench, 1981). In several and possibly all species of magnetotactic bacteria, the particles consist of magnetite, Fe3O4, (Frankel et al., 1979). In most species the particles are arranged in chains, which impart a magnetic moment to the cell, parallel to the axis of motility. The moment is sufficiently large that the bacterium is oriented in the geomagnetic field at ambient temperature as it swims, i.e. the chain of Fe3O4 particles functions as a biomagnetic compass (Frankel & Blakemore, 1980). By this means the organism propels itself along the geomagnetic field lines. The direction of migration depends on the orientation of the biomagnetic compass. Those with north-seeking pole forward migrate north along the field lines. Those with the south-seeking pole forward migrate south. It has been found that north-seeking bacteria predominate in the Northern Hemisphere while south-seeking bacteria predominate in the Southern Hemisphere (Blakemore et al., 1980; Kirschvink, 1980).

Keywords

Magnetotactic Bacterium Geomagnetic Equator Geomagnetic Field Line Amorphous Iron Oxide Single Magnetic Domain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Balkwill, D.L., Maratea, D., and Blakemore, R.P., 1980, Ultrastructure of a Magnetotaetic Spirillum, J. Baoteriol. 141:1399.Google Scholar
  2. Bazylinski, D.A., and Blakemore, R.P., 1983, Denitrification and Assimilatory Nitrate Reduction in Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum, App. Environ. Microbiol. 46:1118.Google Scholar
  3. Bazylinski, D.A., and Blakemore, R.P., 1983, Nitrogen Fixation (Acetylene Reduction) in Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum, Curr. Microbiol. 9:305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blakemore, R.P., 1975, Magnetotactic Bacteria, Science 190:377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blakemore, R.P., 1982, Magnetotactic Bacteria, Ann. Rev. Microbiol. 36:217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blakemore, R.P., and Frankel, R.B., 1981, Magnetic Navigation in Bacteria, Soi. Am. 245(b):58.Google Scholar
  7. Blakemore, R.P., Maratea, D., and Wolfe, R.S., 1979, Isolation and Pure Culture of a Freshwater Magnetic Spirillum in Chemically Defined Medium, J. Bacteriol. 140:720.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Blakemore, R.P., Frankel, R.B., and Kalmijn, A.J., 1980, South-seeking Magnetotactic Bacteria in the Southern Hemisphere, Nature 286:384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blakemore, R.P., Short, K.A., Bazylinski, D.A., Rosenblatt, C., and Frankel, R.B., 1984, Microaerobic Conditions are Required for Magnetite Formation within Aquaspirilium magnetotacticum, Geomicrobiol. J. 4:62.Google Scholar
  10. Escalente-Semerena, J.C., Blakemore, R.P., and Wolfe, R.S., 1980, Nitrate Dissimilation under Microaerophilic Conditions by a Magnetic Spirillum, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 40:429.Google Scholar
  11. Farina, M., Lins de Barros, H., Esquivel, D.M.S., and Danon, J., 1983, Ultrastructure of a Magnetotactic Microorganism, Biol. Cell 48:85.Google Scholar
  12. Frankel, R.B., 1984, Magnetic Guidance of Organisms, Ann. Rev. Biophys. Bioeng. 13:85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frankel, R.B., and Blakemore, R.P., 1980, Navigational Compass in Magnetic Bacteria, J. Magn. and Magn. Math. 15–18:156.Google Scholar
  14. Frankel, R.B., Blakemore, R.P., Torres de Araujo, F.F., Esquivel, D.M.S., and Danon, J., 1981, Magnetotactic Bacteria at the Geomagnetic Equator, Science 212:1269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Frankel, R.B., Papaefthymiou, G.C., Blakemore, R.P., and O’Brien, W., 1983, Fe3O4 Precipitation in Magnetotactic Bacteria, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 763:147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Garrels, R.M., and Christ, C.L., 1965, “Solution, Minerals and Equilibrium,” Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Gorby, Y.A., Beveridge, T.J. and Blakemore, R.P., 1988, Character of the Bacterial Magnetosome Membrane, J. Bacteriol. 170:0000.Google Scholar
  18. Kirschvink, J.L., Jones, D.S., and MacFadden, B.J., Eds., 1985, “Magnetic Biomineralization and Magnetoreception in Organisms,” Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Lommen, M.A., and Takemoto, S., 1978, Comparison, by Freeze-Fracture Electron Microscopy, of Chromatophores, Spheroplast-derived Membrane Vesicles, and Whole Cells of Rhodopseudomonas spheroides, J. Bacteriol. 136:730.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Lowenstam, H.A., 1981, Minerals Formed by Organisms, Science 211:1126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mann, S., Frankel, R.B., and Blakemore, R.P., 1984, Structure, Morphology and Crystal Growth of Bacterial Magnetite, Nature 310:405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mann, S., Moench, T.T., and Williams, R.J.P., 1984, A High Resolution Electron Microscopic Investigation of Bacterial Magnetite: Implications for Crystal Growth, Proc. Royal Society (London) 221:385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Maratea, D., and Blakemore, R.P., 1981, Aquaspirilium magnetotacticum sp. nov., a Magnetic Spirillum, Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 31:452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Matsuda, T., Endo, J., Osakube, N., Tonomura, A., and Arli, T., 1983, Morphology and Structure of Biogenic Magnetite Particles, Nature 302:411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moench, T.T., and Konetzka, W.A., 1978, A Novel Method for the Isolation and Study of a Magnetotactic Bacterium, Arch. Microbiol. 119:203.Google Scholar
  26. Ofer, S., Nowick, I., Bauminger, E.R., Papaefthymiou, G.C., Frankel, R.B., and Blakemore, R.P., 1984, Magnetosome Dynamics in Magnetotactic Bacteria, Biophys. J. 46:57.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rogers, H.J., 1983, The Membranes of Bacteria, in “Bacterial Cell Structure,” edited by Cole, J.A., Knowles, C.J., and Schlessinger, D., American Society of Microbiology, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  28. Spormann, A.M., and Wolfe, R.S., 1984, Chemotactic, Magnetotactic and Tactile Behavior in a Magnetic Spirillum, FEMS Lett. 22:171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Steifel, E.I., and Watt., G.D., 1979, Azotobacter cytochrome b557–5 is a Bacterioferritin, Nature, 279:81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Torres de Araujo, F.F., Pires, M.A., Frankel, R.B., and Bicudo, C.E.M., 1985, Magnetite and Magnetotaxis in Algae, Biophys. J., 50:375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Towe, K.M., and Moench, T.T., 1981, Electro-optical Characterization of Bacterial Magnetite, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 52:213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Frankel
    • 1
  • R. P. Blakemore
    • 2
  1. 1.Francis Bitter National Magnet LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations