Original paper

Magnetic microstructure of bacterial magnetite by electron holography

McCartney, Martha R.; Lins, Ulysses; Farina, Marcos; Buseck, Peter R.; Frankel, Richard B.


A brackish lagoon at Itaipu, Brazil, contains magnetotactic bacteria with unusually large magnetite magnetosomes (lengths 100-200 nm). The micromagnetic structures of the magnetosomes from two different coccoid organisms from the lagoon have been determined by electron holography. The results are consistent with single-magnetic-domain structure in the elongated magnetosomes from one organism and metastable, single-magnetic-domain structure in the larger, more equi-axed, magnetosomes from the other organism. The results are consistent with theoretical predictions of the transition dimension between stable and metastable single-domain structure in magnetite.


magnetitemagnetotactic bacteriaelectron holographymagnetic microstructuresingle-magnetic domain