Magnetic Microstructure of Magnetotactic Bacteria

Richard B. Frankel, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, Mihály Pósfai, Dennis A. Bazylinski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetotactic bacteria are permanent magnetic dipoles due to magnetosomes, which are intracytoplasmic, nanometer-sized, crystals of magnetite (Fe3O4) or greigite (Fe3S4) in membrane vesicles. Different strains of bacteria have different crystal sizes, shapes, and arrangements. Here, we review the use of off-axis electron holography to determine the magnetic microstructure associated with the magnetosome crystals in a number of different magnetotactic bacteria. The results allow the quantitative determination of parameters such as magnetic moments and coercive fields for individual magnetosomes and entire magnetosome chains.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Biomineralization
Subtitle of host publicationBiological Aspects and Structure Formation
PublisherWiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783527316410
Publication statusPublished - Mar 20 2008


  • Greigite
  • Magnetic microstructure
  • Magnetite
  • Magnetosome
  • Magnetotactic bacteria
  • Off-axis electron holography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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  • Cite this

    Frankel, R. B., Dunin-Borkowski, R. E., Pósfai, M., & Bazylinski, D. A. (2008). Magnetic Microstructure of Magnetotactic Bacteria. In Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation (Vol. 1, pp. 126-144). Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.