Magnetotactic bacteria

Science. 1975 Oct 24;190(4212):377-9. doi: 10.1126/science.170679.


Bacteria with motility directed by the local geomagnetic field have been observed in marine sediments. These magnetotactic microorganisms possess flagella and contain novel structured particles, rich in iron, within intracytoplasmic membrane vesicles. Conceivably these particles impart to cells a magnetic moment. This could explain the observed migration of these organisms in fields as weak as 0.5 gauss.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / analysis
  • Bacteria / ultrastructure
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Gravitation
  • Inclusion Bodies / analysis
  • Inclusion Bodies / ultrastructure
  • Iron / analysis
  • Magnetics*
  • Soil Microbiology


  • Iron