Abstract

Results from a study of the chemical composition and micro-structural characteristics of bacterial magnetosomes extracted from the magnetotactic bacterial strain Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense are presented here. Using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy combined with selected-area electron diffraction and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis, biogenic magnetite particles isolated from mature cultures were analysed for variations in crystallinity and particle size, as well as chain character and length. The analysed crystals showed a narrow size range (~14–67 nm) with an average diameter of 46 ± 6.8 nm, cuboctahedral morphologies and typical Gamma type crystal size distributions. The magnetite particles exhibited a high chemical purity (exclusively Fe3O4) and the majority fall within the single-magnetic-domain range.

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