Morphological features of elongated-anisotropic magnetosome crystals in magnetotactic bacteria of the Nitrospirae phylum and the Deltaproteobacteria class

Christopher T. Lefèvre, Mihály Pósfai, Fernanda Abreu, Ulysses Lins, Richard B. Frankel, Dennis A. Bazylinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High resolution transmission electron microscopy was used to study the crystallographic habits of the elongated magnetite crystals, variously described as bullet-, tooth- or arrowhead-shaped, in two recently described, uncultured, magnetotactic bacteria belonging to the Nitrospirae phylum designated Candidatus Magnetoovum mohavensis strain LO-1, and Candidatus Thermomagnetovibrio paiutensis strain HSMV-1; and a cultured sulfate-reducing magnetotactic bacterium of the Deltaproteobacteria class of the Proteobacteria phylum designated strain AV-1. The elongation axes of the magnetosomes do not coincide with the easy magnetization axis (which is [111]) but they are parallel to [100] in LO-1 and AV-1 and parallel to [110] in HSMV-1. In all three strains, magnetosome magnetite crystals appear to elongate at constant width, resulting in asymmetric shapes. Idealized crystal morphologies are proposed. Neither the control mechanism over crystal growth, nor the adaptiveness, if any, of such unusual crystal habits are known at the moment. Since similar elongated and asymmetric morphologies are unknown in inorganically-formed magnetite crystals, these forms of magnetosome magnetite appear to be excellent biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume312
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • Biomineralization
  • Magnetite
  • Magnetofossil
  • Magnetosome
  • Magnetotactic bacteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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