Magnetosomes of magnetic bacteria help it navigate due to response to Earth's magnetic field.

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"Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) have the ability to navigate along the Earth’s magnetic field. This so-called magnetotaxis is a result of the presence of magnetosomes, organelles which comprise nanometer-sized intracellular crystals of magnetite (Fe3O4) enveloped by a membrane." (Lang et al. 2007:144)

"Magnetosomes are formed and aligned intracellularly in well-ordered chains that serve as a navigational device for orientation along chemical gradients in aquatic habitats by interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field...Another key feature of bacterial magnetosomes is the presence of a biological membrane with a defined biochemical composition. This natural 'coating' ensures superior dispersibility of the particles and provides an excellent target for modification and functionalization of the particles. It was recently confirmed by cryo-electron tomographic studies that the magnetosome vesicles originate directly from the cytoplasmic membrane by invagination." (Lang et al. 2007:145-146)

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Journal article
Synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles for bio- and nanotechnology: genetic engineering and biomimetics of bacterial magnetosomes

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Organism
Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldenseGenus


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