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Intracellular Magnetite Biomineralization in Bacteria Proceeds by a Distinct Pathway Involving Membrane-Bound Ferritin and an Iron(II) Species

Authors

  • Damien Faivre Dr.,

    1. Department of Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
    2. Current address: Max-Plank-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung, Abteilung Biomaterialien, Wissenschaftspark Golm, 14424 Potsdam, Germany
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  • Lars H. Böttger,

    1. Institute of Physics, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany
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  • Berthold F. Matzanke Prof.,

    1. Isotopes Laboratory, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany
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  • Dirk Schüler Prof.

    1. Microbiology, Department of Biology, LMU München, Maria-Ward-Strasse 1a, 80638 München, Germany, Fax: (+49) 89-2180-6127
    2. Department of Microbiology, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Celsiusstrasse 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
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  • This research was supported by the Max Planck Society and the Biofuture program of the BMBF. R. Sonntag is acknowledged for help with the fermentation procedure and J. Schorch for technical assistance with the cell fractioning. D.F. acknowledges support from a Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Union (project BacMag, EIF-2005-009637).

Abstract

original image

A time-resolved study of magnetite formation in magnetotactic bacteria has shown that magnetite biomineralization proceeds first by coprecipitation of Fe2+ and Fe3+ ions and then via small magnetite crystallites (see picture) within invaginating magnetosomes associated with the cell membrane, which further develop into mature crystals after magnetosome vesicles are released from the cell membrane.

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