Bahaj, A. S., James, P.A.B., Ellwood, D.C. and Watson, J.H.P.
Characterisation and growth of magnetotactic bacteria: implication to clean up of environmental pollution
Journal of Applied Physics, 73, (10), . (doi:10.1063/1.353743).
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Magnetotactic bacteria possess a magnetic moment due the presence of membrane bounded crystals of magnetite, (Fe3O4) called magnetosomes within their structure. Through manipulation in an applied magnetic field it is possible to determine the size, speed, and magnetic moment of individual bacteria, and hence an average for a culture. Variations in these characteristics with growth have been measured, indicating the suitability of this particular magnetic spirillum for metal loading. A correlation between the increase in magnetic moment and iron uptake of this bacterium leads us to propose a new mechanism for the biomineralization of magnetite. This paper describes the characterization of a magnetotactic spirillum and the implications these results have for its use in the clean up of environmental pollution.
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